ASE takes hit due to weak banking and industrial performance
(Jordan Times) — The weak performance of the banking and industrial sectors on the Amman Stock Exchange (ASE)has caused further decline of the market value of the shares of the listed companies, according to the ASE monthly bulletin.
The bulletin showed that market capitalisation of the ASE shares dropped by 12.1 percent in the first six months of the current year compared to last year's figures.
The shares value of the listed firms amounted to JD3.6 billion compared to JD4.1 billion in 1999, the bulletin said.
It also showed that the ASE's General Price Index closed at 136.6 points at the end of last week trading, the lowest it has been in the past five years.
Brokers attributed the continuous decline to the financial results of the banks and companies, which was not satisfied according to observers and which failed to improve on last year's performance.
One of the major reasons behind the decline was the decrease in foreign trade, especially with the Kingdom's major markets.
Industrialists complained that their share of trade contracts with Iraq in line with the oil-for-food agreement declined this year. Iraqi imports through Aqaba port also recorded a decline.
Last year profits of the banking sector declined and results in the first half of this year are not expected to improve, analysts said.
The ASE's bulletin showed that the bourse's turnover in the first six months also declined to JD173.3 million from JD225.7 million in the same period of the previous year.
The net investments of non-Jordanians amounted to JD3.8 million this year compared to JD5.3 million in the same period of 1999, the bulletin said.
The ownership of non-Jordanian investors in the firms listed in the ASE amounted to 42.4 percent of the total capital of these companies.
By Tareq Ayyoub
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)