Kuwaiti shares rise slightly despite cabinet resignation
The Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) closed the week Wednesday, January 31, up 0.75 percent despite a political crisis which gripped the emirate after the cabinet resigned. The KSE index closed at 1,339.8 points, just 0.6 percent down on the year but 52.8 percent below its all-time high of November 1997.
The price index made important gains during the week because of optimism over the next cabinet, but then shed 3.5 points on the last day of trading. “Investors are optimistic that a better cabinet will be formed. Demand has picked up and prices have increased," a broker said.
Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah on Monday accepted the resignation of the cabinet which came to power in July 1999.
On January 14, the KSE index dropped to 1,318.2, its lowest level since November 1995. But it made gains in the last two weeks on the back of positive annual results by commercial banks and major firms. 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 capitalisation of more than $20 billion makes it the second largest in the Arab world but still almost three times smaller than the NCFEI index in Saudi Arabia. —(AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
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