Kuwait Times - 22/5/2006
Kuwait Stock Exchange ended yesterday's session on a higher note, on the back of a smart rally staged by the market's heavyweights. The market benchmark KSE General Index was up 1.64 per cent (153.70 points) and closed at 9,553.5 points. Global General Index edged higher by 1 .71 per cent (4.61 points) to close at 274.72 points.
The market's heavyweights performed robustly during the day as highlighted by a 1.51 improvement in the market's blue chips-rich index, Global Large Cap. Index. Market capitalisation of the KSE grew by 1.71 per cent, reaching KD37.71bn by session-end.
On the broader market for equities, advancers clearly outpaced decliners by a margin of 92 to 11 on KSE yesterday. In news; the 27th session of the Union of Arab Capital Markets opened in Beirut May 20, 2006, with a significant Kuwaiti delegation taking part led by the Head of the Kuwaiti Stock Exchange (KSE), Safaq Al-Rukaibi. The delegates discussed several issues including the launch of the United Arab Stock Exchange that would take place within the next two month. The New stock exchange will be based in Egypt's Smart Village.
Yesterday's performance was accompanied by growing trading activity as the KSE
witnessed its heaviest trading day since April 18. Volume of shares traded on the exchange increased by 57.44 per cent, at 182.64mn shares. Banking stocks accounted for 30.23 per cent (55.21mn shares) of the market's total volume.
The Global Banking index edged 0.61 per cent higher. Investors continued to take special interest in Boubyan Bank's shares, exchanging a total of 41.07mn of the bank's shares, at an aggregate value of KD24.67mn. The scrip added 8.93 per cent in daily gains, and closed at KD0.610. National Bank of Kuwait announced that it is looking into buying an Egyptian bank with a strong retail business over the course of next year, and hopes to push its operations into the UAE and Syria soon. In other news, NBK realised KD16mn in gains from selling its stake in Bahrain-based Bank of Bahrain & Kuwait. The bank sold 40.8mn of BBK's shares with an aggregate value of KD20.98mn on the Bahrain Stock Exchange. Share price of NBK ended yesterday's session 1 per cent higher, and closed at KD2.020. Global Food Index picked up where it left yesterday, adding 4.20 per cent in daily gains. Share price of United Fisheries of Kuwait and Kuwait Food Company (Americana) gained 5.77 and 4.35 per cent respectively.
Services stocks performed robustly yesterday, as reflected by a 3.43 per cent gain in Global Services Index. Gulf Petroleum Investment was today's biggest advancer, up 9.62 per cent. Share price of heavyweight Public Warehousing Company and Mobile Telecommunication Co were up 4.30 and 4.03 per cent respectively.
Global Investment Index was also a notable gainer yesterday, up 1.89 per cent. Share price of International Investment Group, Kuwait Investment Company and Noor Financial Investment Co grew by 7.02%, 6.33% and 5.80% respectively.
On the other side of the spectrum; Combined Group Contracting Co was yesterday's biggest decliner, down 6.85 per cent. Other losers for the day included Burgan for Well drilling (-5.95%), Kuwait Portalnd Cement Co (-5.32%) and Arab Insurance Group (Arig) (-3.51%). In other news new company will be listed tomorrow on the KSE brining the total number of listed companies to 167. Mushrif Trading & Contracting Company will be the newest addition to the services sector. The company was established in 1968 and has KD3mn in paid up capital. Mushrif's main activities revolve around construction business, specially heavy civil building and infrastructure contracting across the Gulf region.