Kuwaiti Stocks Dip to Three-Month Low
The Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) slipped Sunday below the psychological barrier of 1,350 points to a three-month low on continued government-parliament disputes and lack of action on reforms, brokers said.
The KSE index lost 18.6 points, 1.36 percent, on the day to close at 1,346.6 points, the lowest level since August 5.
The index is down 6.6 percent on the final trading day of 1999 and a massive 52.5 percent below its all-time record in November 1997.
The slide came amid reports that the government was planning to refer to the constitutional court a request to question the housing minister in parliament, thus threatening to prolong a government-parliament dispute and further delay reforms.
A broker said that all the 32 firms, whose shares were traded Sunday, saw their prices drop. The losers included blue chips companies which have led the market for a long time.
Finance Minister Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah al-Sabah said on 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".
During October, the market dropped 4.5 percent and market capitalization decreased 2.3 percent from 21.3 billion to 20.8 billion dollars.
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)
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