Kuwaiti Shares Index Slips Below 1,400 Points
The Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) on Sunday crashed below the 1,400-point psychological barrier as investor confidence dipped on the back of tension in the area and a drop in third quarter profits, analysts said.
The KSE index closed at 1,395.8 points, the lowest level since August 27, making a loss of 48.4 points or 3.4 percent since the beginning of October.
The index is down 3.2 percent on the final trading day of 1999, and 50.8 percent below its all-time record in November 1997.
"Its a combination of several factors which have dipped confidence levels," Marwan al-Gharaballi of Global Investment House told AFP.
"The resignation of the information minister Saad bin Teflah al-Ajmi, coupled with threats to grill a number of ministers by MPs when assembly reopens next Saturday, have certainly affected the market.
"The tension in the Middle East and a drop in profits of listed firms in the third quarter have also contributed to the slide," he said.
"But I still believe that KSE is affected the most by the government's failure to take new actions and implement its decisions on the economic front," Gharaballi said.
Brokers last week also said the market is facing a depressed level of confidence over lack of reforms.
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 greatly disappointed because none of the promised reforms have 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)
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