The Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) closed the week Wednesday, February 7, up 0.7 percent, although a political crisis since the cabinet resigned at the end of January remains unresolved. The KSE index closed at 1,349.6 points, just 1.6 points higher than last year's closing but 52.4 percent below its all-time high of November 1997.
The emir, Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah, last week accepted the resignation of the cabinet which came to power in July 1999 and he has asked the crown prince and prime minister, Sheikh Saad Abdullah al-Sabah, to form another government. It was the first time since the beginning of 2001 that the KSE crossed last year's close of 1,348.1 points, but the index remained under the psychological barrier of 1,350 points.
The value of average daily trading rose to $21.5 million from last week's $16.6 million. On January 14, the KSE index dropped to 1,318.2, its lowest level since November 1995. But it made gains in the last three weeks on the back of positive annual results by commercial banks and major firms.
The emirate's bourse ended 2000 down 6.5 percent, in a tumultuous 12 months of trading that saw investor confidence hit rock-bottom because of a lack of economic reforms, political uncertainty and parliament-government wrangling. Some 87 companies are listed on the KSE. The bourse's capitalization of more than $20 billion makes it the second largest in the Arab world after the NCFEI index in Saudi Arabia.—(AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
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