KUWAIT, (Reuters) - Kuwait's stock market index, climbing 1.67 percent in the week to Wednesday, May 30, hit a new year high in heavier trade on the back of expected strong second quarter results, traders said.
"The rise is due to the status of the listed firms themselves as the majority have good news about their half year results" to end-June, said Ali Nemash of Bayan Investment.
On Wednesday, the Kuwait Stock Exchange index (KSE) hit its highest level for the year at 1,576.3 points before ending the week up 25.9 points at 1,575.2 points. It is now up 16.85 percent for the year but still 44.5 percent below an all-time high hit in November 1997.
The KSE rise comes despite a law passed by parliament which takes effect this month to tax listed firms 2.5 percent of annual net profit to finance unemployment benefits for Kuwaitis.
Trading value this week rose to 67.76 million dinars ($220 million) -- a daily average of 13.55 million dinars, compared with 10.88 million dinars last week.
Gainers this week included Shuaiba Paper Products Co which ended the week up 55 fils at 415 fils, compared with a year high in April of 435 fils. There are 1,000 fils to the dinar ($3.25)
Commercial Bank of Kuwait gained 30 fils to a new year high of 365 fils. Contracting and Marine Services Co. rose 20 fils to 345 fils while Kuwait Cement Co rose 16 fils at 240 fils.
National Industries Group rose 15 fils to 350 fils, compared with a year high of 360 fils. Decliners this week included blue chip National Bank of Kuwait, the country's largest commercial bank, which shed 20 fils to 880 fils.
Mobile Telecommunications Co (MTC) fell 20 fils to 1.74 dinars. Kuwait's second mobiles firm, National Mobile Telecomunications Co, lost 10 fils to 540 fils. ($1 = 0.308 dinar)
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