Kuwait stock market makes '\'solid gains'\'
The Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) closed the week of Wednesday October 24 up 1.5 percent on what economists described as "solid gains" spurred by stronger world markets. The KSE index closed at 1,650.5 points, up 22.4 percent on the year but still down 41.8 percent on its all-time high of November 1997.
"The market has made solid gains, but there is so much uncertainty ahead," leading economist Jassim Al-Saadun told AFP."If we go back to what happened on September 11, all the indicators declined and some gained, with the exception of the Kuwaiti index. This means the Kuwaiti index still has room to regain some losses," he said.
But Saadun said that, due to both political and military uncertainty, "we'll live for a period of time with volatile Kuwaiti and foreign markets." The KSE, which saw only four days of trading this week following the Thursday-Friday weekend and a public holiday on Saturday, is down 6.9 percent since the devastating September 11 terror attacks.
Previously, the bourse had been booming, with the index rallying past 1,700 points for the first time since December 1998 after dropping to a five-year low in January. The rise was attributed to a number of government economic reform decisions and the strong price of oil, which supplies the emirate's budget with 90 percent of revenue.
The KSE is the second largest stock exchange in the Arab world in terms of capitalization after Saudi Arabia's NCFEI index. — (AFP, Kuwait City)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)