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MENAFN - Jordan Times - 12/09/2004

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The Amman Stock Exchange (ASE) index and trading volume increased last week amid active demand on selected banking and industrial shares. Although profit-taking activities took place on a small-scale taking, the ASE index rose by 1.5 per cent to 2979.0 plus points. The market capitalisation for the week stood at JD9.26 billion.
In the banking sector, shares of Jordan National Bank (JNB) and Jordan Islamic Bank (JIB) underwent active trading during the week with volumes reaching JD6.4 million and JD7.4 million respectively amid expectations that the banks will achieve higher income from operations.

JNB's share finished the weekly session at JD2.17, an increase of 5.9 per cent whereas JIB's share price closed at JD2.23, realising an increase of 8.8 per cent from the level of the previous week.

Shares of The Housing Bank for Trade & Finance closed at JD6.41, a rise of 9.6 per cent.

In the services sector, Jordan Electric Power received the approval of the Ministry of Industry and Trade to increase its paid up capital by JD10 million to JD50 million through the capitalisation of retained earnings or the voluntary reserves or both.

Midyear results of the Specialised Investment Compound (SIC) revealed a year-on-year increase in net profit before tax by 83.6 per cent to JD1.5 million. SIC announced the purchase of 404,950 shares in Machinery Equip. Ren. & Maintenance (MERM). Consequently, SIC's stake in MERM's paid up capital currently stands at 80.99 per cent.

In the industrial sector, Jordan Cement Factories Company (JCFC) raised the prices of cement products by JD3 per tonne citing an increase in the company's cost of production due to its soaring energy bill. JCFC's recent decision to raise prices faced severe opposition from local traders and contractors prompting the Ministry of Industry and Trade to ask the company to withdraw this decision. JCFC is still in dispute with the government over the use of petcoke as a cheaper source of energy than the heavy fuel oil that is currently used in the production process.

Arab Potash Company (APC) arrived at an arbitration settlement with the contractor and designer of Dike19 that collapsed in March 2000. The British company will compensate APc for an amount of 13 million.


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