Kuwaiti Shares Index Slides to 11-Week Low
The Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) dropped 1.3 percent in the week ending Wednesday on the back of heightened tension in the Middle East and internal political problems, brokers said.
The KSE index closed at 1,376.3 points, its lowest level in 11 weeks, down 4.5 percent on the final trading day of 1999, and a staggering 51.5 percent below its all-time record in November 1997.
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 rose slightly to 10.1 million dollars from last week's 8.6 million dollars, but remained well below the 30 million dollars throughout August.
Brokers said the rise in tension in the Middle East and the possibility of a regional military action negatively affected the market.
The resignation of the information minister Saad bin Teflah al-Ajmi and threats to grill a number of ministers by MPs assisted the slide, which also affected blue chips.
Confidence levels on the market had been boosted over the past months by high oil prices, the settlement of billions of dollars of bad debt and the introduction of regulations allowing foreigners to own stocks and trade on the bourse.
But investors are disappointed because none of the promised reforms has been implemented.
Some 87 companies with market capitalization of 21 billion dollars 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)