Kuwait MTC slips on govt sale, bourse at high

Published May 10th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

KUWAIT, (Reuters) - Kuwait's stock market index hit a new year high in the week to Wednesday, May 9, but blue-chip MTC fell on state plans to shed part of its stake in the mobiles telecom firm at a discount. 


Mobile Telecommunications Co ended the week down 20 fils at 1.78 dinars after the government announced the revival of its plan to sell 113 million MTC shares by public subscription at 1.453 dinars a share starting May 14-June 11. There are 1,000 fils to the dinar ($3.25). 


The Kuwait Stock Exchange index (KSE) <.KWSE> hit a new year high of 1,527.5 points during Wednesday's three-hour trading session. It ended the week up 17.9 points, or 1.2 percent, at 1,525.7 points. 


The index is now up 13.17 percent for the year, but is still 46.2 percent below an all-time high recorded in November 1997. 


"There is pressure on MTC shares as the company has high earnings, while the price of the subscription is at a discount," Ali Nemash of Bayan Investment told Reuters. 


Kuwait's second mobiles firm National Telecommunications Co fell 20 fils to close at 550 fils, compared with a year high of 610 fils in March. 


"There is liquidity which helped the index rise to new year highs during the week," Nemash added. 


The KSE has been rising steadily over recent weeks as Kuwaiti firms and individuals collected Iraqi compensation funds distributed by a United Nations body for damages during Baghdad's 1990-91 occupation of Kuwait. 


Trading value this week rose to 59.739 million dinars -- a daily average of 11.94 million dinars, compared with 8.74 million dinars last week. 


Gainers this week included Kuwait Foundry Co which gained 30 fils to close at 1.02 dinars, while Gulf Cable rose 20 fils to 1.94 dinars, compared with a year high in February of 2.02 dinars. 


Decliners included Islamic financial institution Kuwait Finance House which fell 10 fils to close at 800 fils, compared with a year high of 850 fils in March. ($1 = 0.3074 dinars)  

© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)

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