The Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) closed on Saturday, March 10, at a five-month high—passing the 1,400-point psychological barrier. Analysts explain the surge as a rise in investor confidence and general market optimism due to increased corporate investments.
The KSE index rose 20.1 points—1.5 percent—closing just above 1,400 points. Although the index reached 3.9 percent higher than its clsing figure for 2000, it is still 50.6 percent below its all-time high of November 1997.
Brokers claim that investor motivation and confidence was partially due to the intention of the state-owned conglomerate Kuwait Petroleum Corp. to invest some $115 million in the Emirate’s bourse.
Mutual funds have also been very active, adding funds into the presently depressed bourse, and traders are optimistic about the expected approval of the foreign investment bill by parliament on Monday.
The bill specifies incentives for foreign investors, such as tax holidays and whole ownership of companies. Kuwait recently formed a new cabinet in February, with a new liberal finance minister, Yussef al-Ibrahim, who is expected to act towards numerous economic reforms.
Positive annual results by commercial banks and major Kuwaiti firms helped raise the KSE following its drop on January 14th to 1,318.2 points—the lowest level since November 1995.
Approximately 87 companies are listed on the KSE, with a capitalization of more than $20 billion. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
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