Kuwaiti Shares Index Continues the Downward Trend
The Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) closed the week Wednesday down for the seventh successive week on the back of depressed investor confidence in an over-priced market, brokers said.
The KSE index closed at 1,367.5 points, down 0.6 percent on the week, 5.2 percent on the final trading day of 1999 and a massive 51.9 percent below its all-time record in November 1997.
"I think prices of shares will drop further, because they are greatly over-valued. They will slide to their real value," one broker said.
Finance Minister Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah al-Sabah was reported as saying Wednesday that the decline of share prices did not mirror the state of the national economy.
But he admitted that although share prices "were, in the past, deliberately inflated by wrong and unacceptable alliances, they had now returned to normal levels".
He said a revision in the emirate's taxation law was necessary to attract foreign investors to the bourse.
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 dropped to just 5.4 million dollars compared to 10.1 million dollars last week, and 30 million dollars throughout August.
A rise in tension in the Middle East, the resignation of Information Minister Saad bin Teflah al-Ajmi and moves to grill Housing Minister Adel al-Sebeih assisted the slide, brokers explained.
Some 87 companies are listed on the KSE, the second largest bourse in the Arab world after the NCFEI in Saudi Arabia -- KUWAIT CITY (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)