Kuwaiti shares index rises after weeks of losses
The Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) ended eight weeks of successive losses during which it hit a new five-year low to close the week on Wednesday, November 22, up slightly on the back of positive official statements.
The KSE index closed at 1,351.7 points, up 0.65 percent on the week, but still down 6.2 percent on the final trading day of 1999 and a massive 52.3 percent below its all-time record in November 1997.
Brokers attributed the index rise to Commerce and Industry Ministry Abdel Wahab al-Wazzan who was reported as saying early in the week that the government will indirectly inject funds into the sagging bourse.
Wazzan said that a number of government funds and portfolios were considering buying stocks on the KSE, but warned that its trading will purely be on commercial basis.
The bourse increased more than 16 points in the first three days of the Saturday-Wednesday week, but a parliamentary grilling of Housing Minister Adel al-Sebeih on Monday partially offset the market gains.
Last week, the index dropped to 1,340.2 points, its lowest level since November 1995 on the back of depressed investor confidence.
During October, the market dropped 4.5 percent and market capitalization decreased 2.3 percent from 21.3 billion to just 20.8 billion dollars.
The value of average trading increased slighty to $9 million this week, but still remained well below the $30 million throughout August.
Some 87 companies are listed on the KSE, the second largest bourse in the Arab world after the NCFEI in Saudi Arabia.— (AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000