(MENAFN - Arab Times) Kuwait stocks pulled lower Tuesday after treading water in the previous session. The index dropped 18.93 pts in choppy trade to close at 6,386.8 pts amid profit taking in some of the mid and small caps.
The banks were largely muted while other heavyweights closed narrowly mixed. The bourse had rallied strongly last week backed by upbeat financial results. The KSX 15 benchmark rose 0.98 pts to 1,031.7 pts and had knocked off nearly 15 pts from the start of the month while the weighted index edged 0.23 pts lower. The volume turnover meanwhile receded after ticking higher in the day before. 424.51 million shares changed hands - a 12.50 percent drop from Monday.
The sectors closed mostly in the negative territory. Technology outshone the rest with 1.56 percent increase whereas oil and gas erased 2.13 percent, the biggest loser of the day. In terms of volume, real estate chalked the highest volume share of 42.22 percent while financial services and oil and gas followed with 38.26 percent and 6.67 percent respectively. Soor Fuel Marketing Co dived 25 fils while Mabanee Co plunged 40 fils to KD 1.200 after stagnating in the previous session. Kuwait Foundry Co eased 5 fils and Boubyan Petrochemical Co was down 10 fils at KD 0.104. Contracting and Marine Services Co pulled 6 fils lower. National Industries Group eased 2 fils and Gulf Petroleum Investment Co fell 10 fils after trading 24.70 million shares. Kuwait Portland Cement dropped 20 fils. The company has chalked a profit of KD 7.28 million and earnings per share of 80.13 fils in 2012. The Board of Directors has recommended a cash dividend of 80 % or 80 fils per share.
The market opened wavy and ticked higher in early trade. The index hit the day's highest level of 6,416.31 pts and pulled lower on selling pressure in select counters. It snapped back to touch the opening mark briefly and retreated thereafter to trough at 6382.94 pts before paring some of the losses at close. Top gainer of the day, Zimah spiked 9.62 percent to KD 0.114 and Kuwait Syrian Holding Co climbed 6.9 percent to stand next. Investors Holding Co tumbled 11.63 percent, the steepest decliner of the day and the stock also topped the volume with 110.33 million shares changing hands. Reflecting the day's downswing, the market spread was biased towards the losers. 38 stocks advanced whereas 54 closed lower. Of the 149 counters active on Tuesday, 57 closed flat. 6,916 deals worth KD 29.34 million were transacted - down 25.88 percent in value from the day before.
Wataniya Telecom shed 20 fils to settle at KD 2.400 while bourse heavyweight Zain closed 10 fils higher at KD 0.800 after trading in red earlier in the session whereas. Zain has earned KD 252.14 mln in 2012 and earnings per share clocked of 65 fils "People are accepting the results, which are not so bad if you neutralize the FX loss," Reuters quoted Fouad Darwish, head of brokerage at Global Investment House earlier in the week. "There is a lot of momentum being driven by expectations of financial results. Retail traders, buying small-caps, is another force driving the market."
Agility held the ground unchanged at KD 0.570 with a volume of 0.56 million and Kuwait Gulf Links followed suit to wind up at KD 0.108. The stock has added 8 fils from start of the month while year-to-date, it has rallied 20 fils. On the upside, Kuwait National Cinema Co soared 50 fils with thin trading and NAPESCO rallied 25 fils to close at KDD 0.435. Automated Systems Co rose 10 fils and United Industries Co was up 4 fils at KD 0.104. UIC has chalked a net profit of KD 3.34 million and earnings per share of 7.07 fils in 2012. The Board of Directors has recommended a 5 percent cash dividend payout. In the banking sector, National Bank of Kuwait was flat at KD 0.990 and Gulf Bank followed suit to end at KD 0.415 off early lows. The stock has added 5 fils from start of the month but has retreated 5 fils YTD. Commercial Bank and Al Ahli Bank were not traded during the session.
Ahli United Bank frittered away early gains to hold steady at KD 0.820 while Kuwait International Bank eased 5 fils. Burgan Bank too closed flat. The lender has obtained the approval of Central Bank of Kuwait to extend permission to buyback or sell up to 10% of own issued shares over a period of 6 months commencing from Feb 5.
Kuwait Finance House rose 10 fils on back of 1.25 million shares to wind up at KD 0.820 and Boubyan Bank stagnated at KD 0.540. The bank has recorded KD 10.05 million net profit and earnings per share 5.75 fils in the full year 2012 and the Board of Directors have recommended a dividend payout of 5 % bonus shares.
International Financial Advisors took in 2 fils on back of over 2 million shares whereas National Investment Co and KIPCO fell 2 fils and 5 fils respectively. Securities House Co was up 2 fils at 81 fils and Kuwait Financial Centre Co ( Markaz) followed suit.
Kuwait Financing and Investment Co slipped 2 fils and KAMCO pulled 6 fils lower to KD 0.116. Bayan Investment Co rose 2.5 fils. The company has won the approval of the Capital Market Authority on its request to sell own shares amounting to 34,499,385 over a period of 6 months. Ahlia Insurance Co skidded 25 fils whereas Warba Insurance Co was flat at KD 0.116. Noor Financial flunked 1 fils adding to an identical loss in the previous session. National Real Estate Co took in 2 fils with a volume of 7.4 million shares and United Real Estate Co shed 6 fils. UREC has logged a net profit of KD 2.74 million and the Board of Directors has recommended a cash dividend of 7 percent.
The bourse has been mixed so far during the week and has retreated 10.84 pts in last three sessions. The index has gained 141.69 pts from start of the month and is trading over 7.63 percent higher year-to-date. KSE, with 213 listed companies, is the second largest bourse in the region. In the bourse related news, Mabanee Company has penciled a net profit of KD 33.27 million and earnings per share of 53.28 fils in 2012 - soaring from KD 20.78 profit and 34.2 fils in the year before. The Board of Directors has recommended a cash of 20 % plus 10 % bonus shares. Securities Group Co has chalked a net loss of KD 5.87 million and loss per share of 23.05 fils in the nine-month period ending Dec 31, 2012. This compares with KD 7.79 million loss and loss per share of 30.56 fils in the same period last year.
By John Mathews - Arab Times Staff