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MENAFN - Arab Times - 08/08/2012

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(MENAFN - Arab Times) Kuwait stocks trod water Monday after closing higher in last three sessions. The index trimmed steep early losses to close 0.91 points lower at 5732.08 points amid skittish sentiments.

The bourse had slipped 1.19 percent in range bound trading during last month even as investors remains wary of the market direction.

The KSX 15 measure fell 0.33 points and weighted index eased 0.26 percent to settle at 393.75 points. The volume turnover rose slightly after receding in the previous session. 94.32 million shares changed hands - a 17.37 percent increase from the day before. The volume had averaged 149.19 million in July - down 64.64 million from the month before.

Among the sectors, technology outpaced the rest with a 2.46 percent gain whereas telecommunication dropped 1.79 percent to emerge as the biggest loser of the day. Volume wise, financial services accounted for the highest market share of 42.60 percent while financial services stood next with 35.03 percent.

Kuwait National Cinema Co dived 50 fils to KD 0.880 while Yiaco shed 25 fils erasing the gains on Sunday. United Foodstuff Industries Group eased 10 fils while Aref Energy Holding Co edged 2 fils lower.

Among the frontline stocks, Zain was down 10 fils at KD 0.670 surrendering early gains and the counter saw 1.4 million shares change hands. Agility added 10 fils on back of 2.34 million shares. The stock has climbed 10 fils from start of the month and is trading 20 fils higher year-to-date.

Among other decliners, National Industries Group fell 2 fils to KD 0.395 after trading 2.89 million shares. NIG logged a net profit of KD 10,482,000 and earnings per share of 8 fils in the first six months of the year. Kuwait Pipes was down 2 fils to end at KD 0.102 and KGL Logistics too was down by same measure.

The market opened on a positive note and rose slightly in early trade. The index eased from the day's highest level of 5737.42 points and drifted lower as sentiments turned negative. It bottomed at 5705.77 points past the mid-session and clawed back mostly on speculative buying in select counters before winding up close to the opening mark.

The top gainer of the day, First Takaful Insurance spiked 26.79 percent to 500 fils while Kuwait Medical Services Co added 9.09 percent. Salbookh slid 8.2 percent, the steepest decliner of the day, whereas International Resorts Co topped the volume with 12.43 million shares.

The losers out led the gainers during the session. 37 stocks advanced whereas 41 closed lower. Of the 115 counters active on Monday, 37 closed flat. 1975 deals worth KD 13.9 million where transacted - up 0.68 percent in value from the day before.

On the upside Automated Systems Co climbed 25 fls and Gulf Glass Manufacturing Co rose 220 fils on thin trading to end at KD 1.060. National Real Estate Co was up 4 fils and Mazaya Holding Co ticked 2 fils higher.
In the banking sector, National Bank of Kuwait recouped early losses to close flat at KD 0.990 and the counter saw a volume turnover of 1.1 million shares. The lender has posted a 39.5 percent drop in Q2 profit to KD 39.8 million while in the first half the earnings slid 17.7 percent to KD 146.7 million . The lender has earmarked 96.4 million in provisions .

Gulf Bank was unchanged at KD 0.400 and Commercial Bank too did not budge from its earlier close of KD 0.730. Al Ahli Bank was not traded during the day while Al Ahli United Bank was down 10 fils at KD 0.890.

Kuwait International Bank rose 5 fils to KD 0.255 and Burgan Bank followed suit to end at KD 0.470. Moody's has downgraded the lender's global local currency (GLC) deposit and foreign currency deposit ratings to A3/Prime-2 from A2/Prime-1. The bank's standalone bank financial strength rating (BFSR) was affirmed at D;

Boubyan Bank was flat at KD 0.600 whereas Kuwait Finance House added 10 fils. Capital Intelligence has affirmed KFH's Foreign Currency Long and Short term ratings at 'A' and 'A1' respectively, while its Financial Strength Rating is placed at 'BBB'.

ALAFCO stagnated at KD 0.270 while RISCO was down 2 fils at KD 0.208 after posting modest gains in the previous session. The company's H1 profit spiked 190 percent to KD 1.6 million as compared to losses of KD 1.8 million in year-earlier period. The second-quarter profit soared 163.2 percent year-over-year to KD 1.22 million.

Jazeera Airways was unchanged at KD 0.425. The carrier's Q2 net profit jumped 23.5 percent to KD 2.6 million while operating profit surged 49.2 percent year-on-year to KD 4.2 million. In the first half net earnings climbed 21.6 percent to KD 3.8 million.

International Financial Advisors slipped 2 fils while KIPCO closed flat at KD 0.365 off early lows. KIPCO's first half net profit clocked KD 17,062,000 while earnings per share came in at 13.12 fils. This compares with KD 16,559,000 profit and earnings per share of 13.34 fils in same period last year.

In the bourse related news, Madina For Finance & Investment has inked a final contract with a creditor to repay a debt amounting to AED 25.691.651 through assets in kind. This will accordingly lead to a decline in the company's debts by KD 1.939.745.

City Group's first half earnings soared 150 percent to KD 1.65 million. In the second quarter, the profit stood at KD 742.3 thousand, a 68% jump from the year-earlier period.

National Petroleum Services Co has posted a 43.3% drop in earnings to KD 907,000 during the H1. In the second-quarter, the profit dropped 41.2% year-over-year to KD 514,2 000 .

United Industries Company (UIC), a unit of Kuwait Projects Company Group has incurred a second quarter loss of KD134,116 . Company's net profit for the first half surged KD 2.51 million while earnings per share stood at 5.21 fils per share. Income from associates reached KD4.96 million while investment in associates was up 5 per cent to KD152.6 million.

Noor Financial Investment has signed an agreement with Burgan Bank to roll over KD 2.7 million debts maturing in 2018.

The investment firm had earlier rescheduled KD 117.5 million debts with Gulf Bank, Commercial Bank of Kuwait and Kuwait Finance House.

The Capital Market Authority (CMA) earlier in July has announced delisting five of the eight stocks suspended from trading on Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) for more than six months. The delisted companies are The International Investor Co., Al Masar Leasing and Investment Co., A'ayan Leasing and Investment Co., Aref Investment Group., and Grand Real Estate Projects Co.

By John Mathews
Arab Times Staff


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