Kuwaiti bourse falls after swearing in of new cabinet
The Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) dropped 0.83 percent, dipping below the psychological barrier of 1,350 points on Sunday, February 18, the second day in office of the new cabinet, brokers said.
The KSE index closed at 1,347.1 points, one point below last year's closing, and 52.1 percent down on its all-time high of November 1997.
“It appears that investors are not too happy with the new cabinet" which was sworn in on Saturday, said one broker. "They think it's below their expectations." The new cabinet line-up was announced after last week's close of trading on the KSE. On Saturday, trading was quiet and the index was up one point only.
But Sami al-Hasawi of the Kuwait Financial Center attributed the drop to speculation. "Share prices of only small companies dropped because of speculations, while prices of the big listed companies remained firm," Hasawi told AFP. The KSE index, which dropped to a new five-year low in mid-January, had been rising steadily for the last three weeks and crossed the 1,350-point level last week.
The emirate's bourse ended 2000 down 6.5 percent in a tumultuous 12 months of trading that saw investor confidence hit rock bottom because of a lack of economic reforms, political uncertainty and parliament-government wrangling.
Some 87 companies are listed on the KSE. The bourse's capitalization of more than $20 billion makes it the second largest in the Arab world after the NCFEI index in Saudi Arabia. —(AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)