Kuwaiti stocks soar over oil prices and end of debt crisis
The Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) Saturday rose 1.3 percent on the back of new confidence induced by high oil prices and the settlement of billions of dollars of bad debts, analysts and brokers said.
The KSE index closed at 1,451.9 points, up 18.9 points on the first day of trading after officially closing the debt crisis that hindered the economy for almost two decades.
"Records show that majority of debtors paid the final installment on Wednesday, thus officially closing the bad debt crisis," Marwan Gharabally of the Global Investment House told AFP.
"Latest government decisions, like allowing foreigners to trade on the KSE, have induced a state of optimism and confidence in the market. The hike in oil price and Kuwait's production quota boosted this confidence," he added.
About 73 million shares worth 50.8 million dollars exchanged hands on Saturday, more than twice the average daily trading last week. The index, however, remains a massive 48.8 percent down on its all-time high in November 1997.
"Traders are smiling again. I have received orders from big and small dealers as well. Everyone seems to be optimistic," broker Ahmad Mahmud of Al-Waseet Brokerage said.
Some 87 companies with market capitalization of 20 billion dollars are listed on the KSE, the second largest bourse in the Arab world after the NCFEI in Saudi Arabia.
Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)