Kuwaiti shares edge down as investors remain skeptical about reforms
The Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) edged down slightly on the week ending Wednesday, April 11, as investors remained unconvinced by the government's move to form an authority to implement economic reforms.
The KSE index closed at 1,428.3 points, down 0.2 percent on the week and 6.1 percent up on the year but still 49.6 percent off its all-time high of November 1997.
The formation of the authority to implement a long-awaited program of economic reforms was expected to boost trading, but a continued dispute over the sale of government shares and weak first-quarter profits dampened optimism.
Last week the government put on hold a plan to sell more than 100 million shares worth $500 million in the Mobile Telecommunications Co. (MTC) after opposition from parliament.
The mixed performance of listed firms last year and the first quarter this year, coupled with huge losses incurred by Kuwaiti investment firms in the world bourses, has also affected the slowdown at the KSE, which two weeks ago hit a 10-month high.
Value of average daily trading rose slightly to $42.7 million from last week's $39.8 million. The bourse's capitalization dropped slightly to $23.3 billion at the end of this week's trading, Bayan Investment Co. said.
Some 87 companies are listed on the KSE, which has the second largest capitalization in the Arab world after Saudi Arabia's NCFEI index. — (AFP, Kuwait city)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)