(MENAFN - Arab Times) Kuwait stocks edged higher on Wednesday after closing almost flat in the previous session.
The index rose 4.4 points in volatile trade led by renewed buying in banks and some of the mid-caps. The market mood continued to be skittish with no solid cue in sight.
The bourse wound up at 6369 points paring steeper losses earlier in the day, while weighed index was up 4.68 points at 451.88. The volume turnover posted a modest increase after ebbing in the previous session. 141.95 million shares changed hands on Wednesday, a 14.3 percent rise from the day before. The volume has anemic since start of the month owing to lack of new catalysts and the failure of Zain-Etisilat stake sale talks.
National Bank of Kuwait rose 20 fils recovering an identical drop in the day before and closed at KD 1.180. Kuwait Finance House too was up 20 fils at KD 1.100 extending the gains from Tuesday. The shares fell 14 fils during March and is down 60 fils since start of the year.
Gulf Bank rallied 30 fils on back of 11.02 million shares to wind up at KD 0.540. The bank's net profit dropped to KD 19 million in 2010 from KD 19 million in the year before while loan loss provisions amounted to KD 115 million. Burgan Bank added 10 fils to settle at KD 0.520 while Kuwait International Bank crept 5 fils higher with a volume turnover of 7.5 million shares.
Zain swooned 160 fils to close at KD 1.180 adding to the loss in the previous session. Wataniya Telecom rose 20 fils to wind up at KD 1.820 .
The company has posted a net profit of KD 78.020 million and earnings per share of 155.68 fils in 2010 and the board of directors has recommended a cash dividend of 50 fils.
Agility edged 5 fils higher to settle at KD 0.380 recouping the fall on Tuesday. The logistics major is eying a 44 percent stake in Iraqi Korek Telecom in partnership with France Telecom. The two companies will form a joint venture, 54 percent-owned by Agility, to control the stake.
The market opened weak and slipped in red into early trade amid weak sentiments. The index hit the day's lowest level of 6338.9 points and moved sideways half way into session.
It clawed back thereafter as buying picked up in some of the bank stocks and mid-caps, and managed to wind up in positive territory.
"Interest in banks is in-line with expectations of better-than-expected Q1 announcements which are going to come very soon," Reuters quoted a Kuwaiti-trader. "Investors are expecting lower provisioning, which will enhance the bottom line.
If you compare it to last year, provisioning was high because of loans to real estate or investor companies," he added. The top gainer of the day, Zima Holding Co climbed 8.4 percent to KD 0.128 while Real Estate Asset Management Co rose 7.9 percent to stand next. Kuwait Educational Services Co slid 10.9 percent, the steepest decliner of the day, while Gulf Bank topped the volume with 11.02 million shares.
Reflecting the day's meager gain, the winners managed to outnumber the losers. 34 stocks advanced while 31 closed lower. Of the 95 counters active on Wednesday, 23 closed flat. 2843 deals worth KD 25.68 million were transacted - a 50.8 percent surge in value over the previous session.
The sectoral indices closed mixed. Banking sector outpaced peers with 1.1 percent rise while investment inched 0.1 percent higher.
Real estate and industrials gained 0.3 percent and 0.4 percent respectively whereas services slipped 0.5 percent - the steepest decliner of the day. Food fell 0.1 percent while non-Kuwaitis eased 0.4 percent.
Among other movers, KIPCO was up 10 fils at KD 0.410 on back of 3.5 million shares while National Investment Co held the ground steady at KD 0.290.
The counter saw 1.72 million shares change hands. Bayan Investment Co inched 0.5 fils lower while Global Investment House slipped 2.5 fils.
Kuwait Finance Centre (Markaz) closed flat at KD 0.128 after eking marginal gain in the day before. The company had posted a 222 percent rise in net profit to KD 8.17 million, while earnings per share chalked 18 fils.
KAMCO dropped 10 fils to settle at KD 0.265 whereas Al Deera Holding did not budge from its earlier close of 32 fils.
Ahli United Bank dropped 10 fils to KD 0.750 while Commercial Bank of Kuwait and Al Ahli Bank closed flat. Boubyan Bank climbed 10 fils to KD 0.590. The bank's earnings clocked KD 6.1 million in 2010 rebounding from a net loss of KD 51.7 million in the year before. The net finance revenue stood at KD 30.9 million.
The bourse had been upbeat so far during the week and has gained 40 points from last week's closing mark. It had rebounded 82 points since start of the month and is trading 8 percent lower year-to-date. KSE, with 215 listed companies, is the second largest bourse in the region.
National Industries Group gained 10 fils to close at KD 0.270 while Kuwait Pipes added 4 fils. Kuwait Cement Co slipped 10 fils and Gulf Cables climbed 20 fils partly recouping the loss in the previous session.
Kuwait Portland Cement Co eased 5 fils while United Industries Co and Qurain Petrochemical Industries Co added 2 fils each.
On the downside, Combined Group Contracting Co slid 40 fils to KD 1.980 and Kuwait Company For Process Plant Construction and Contracting dropped 20 fils. United Projects Group dived 55 fils whereas ALAFCO gained 10 fils. Kuwait Food Co (Americana) was unchanged at KD 1.480.
In the bourse related news, Coast Investment and Development Co has logged a net profit of KD 5,799,505 and earnings per share of 10 fils in whole year 2010 rebounding from a net loss last year of KD 13,699,997 and loss per share of 24 fils.
Kuwait China Investment Co has posted a net profit of KD 4,619,031 and earnings per share of 5.8 fils as against last year's profit of KD 8,683,587 and earnings per share last year 10.9 fils. The Board of Directors recommended no dividends.
Combined Group Contracting Co has announced its results for its fiscal year 2010 ended 31/12/2010. The company posted a net profit of KD 8,893,965 and earnings per share of 101.52 fils as against net profit of KD 8,194,745 and earnings per share of 94.15 fils in the previous year. The Board of Directors recommended a cash dividend of 70 percent and 10 percent bonus shares.
Meanwhile KSE has announced the trading suspension of 31 companies with effect from April 3, 2011 for not announcing their financial statements ending Dec 31, 2010. They are as follows: Kuwait Investment Company, International Investor Company, Securities House Company, Industrial Investments Company, International Investment Group, Aref Investment Group, Al Dar Investment Company, First Investment Company, Gulf Investment House Aayan Leasing and Investment Company, Gulf International Investment Company, Kuwait Finance and Investment Company, International Leasing and Investment Company and Housing Finance Company.
Al Madar Finance and Investment Company, Al Safat Investment Company, Sokouk Holding Company, Nour Financial Investment Company, Amwal International Investment Company, Al Masar Leasing and Investment Company, Al Dar National Real Estate Company, Grand Real Estate Projects Company, Al Safat Global Company Holding, Munshaat Real Estate Projects Company, Mena Holding Company, Nafaes Holding Company, National Ranges Company, Villa Moda Life Style Company, Network Holding Company, Gulf Finance House and Al Shamil International Holding Company.
By: John Mathews