Arab Bank drives Amman bourse higher
AMMAN, (Reuters) - Amman bourse rose on Sunday, May 27, in heavy turnover dominated by a large multimillion dollar divestment by Kuwaiti investors in Arab Bank shares to the state pension fund, dealers said.
The official 70-share benchmark Amman Stock Exchange (ASE) index rose 0.41 percent to close at 140.75 points in turnover of around 19.5 million dinars ($27 million).
Most of the trading was dominated by a deal worth around 100,000 shares executed by Atlas Investment Group on behalf of a Kuwaiti financial firm divesting its portfolio in the heavyweight bank.
The buyer was the country's state pension fund which has already been raising its portfolio of shares in the bank. Heavyweight Arab Bank rose 0.75 percent to close at 168.5 dinars in overall trade worth around 17.65 million dinars, the largest traded stock.
The share makes up more than 40 percent of the bourse's total capitalization and so its price fluctuations heavily influence the overall ASE index.
In the second largest deal, Jordan Steel was unchanged at 1.10 dinars after twelve shares worth alone 181,400 dinars.
The market has since last week witnessed heightened local fund purchases of undervalued stock with good earnings prospects that pushed the official ASE index higher by around two percent.
Blue-chip firm, Jordan Petroluem Refinery, was also unchanged at 11.28 dinars after shares worth around 62,4860 dinars changed hands.
Drug blue-chip Arab Pharmaceutical Manufacturing, was unchanged at 2.39 dinars after shares worth 16,683 dinars changed hands.
In recent weeks, absence of strong demand by local institutions has hampered a market rebound leaving trading short of sufficient liquidity.
Many funds have adopted a wait-and-see mood amid heightened violence in the Middle East. ($=0.709 dinars)
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