DUBAI May 20 Kuwait's bourse extended sharp
year-to-date gains in heavy trading on Monday, while
profit-taking weighed on bourses in the United Arab Emirates and
other markets were mixed.
Kuwait's index rose 1.3 percent to hit a fresh
46-month high, trading 111 million dinars ($387.9 million).
Companies owned by one of Kuwait's largest merchant families
rose after a favourable court ruling.
Kuwaiti newspaper reports said Libya will have to pay the
Kharafi Group $930 million in damages for former leader Muammar
Gaddafi's cancelling of the construction of a vacation resort.
Telco Zain gained 2.9 percent, National Industries
Group Holding climbed 2 percent and National
Investments Company rose 2.4 percent.
Most large-caps rose, pushing the bluechip Kuwait 15 index
up 13 points.
"We expect the market to continue its positive performance
and maintain above the 8,000 points level mainly driven by the
positive sentiment and the new liquidity channelled to the
market," said Fouad Darwish, head of brokerage at Global
Investment House. The index closed at 8,126 points.
In Saudi Arabia, shares in developer Dar Al Arkan
halted two sessions of sharp gains after the firm said in a
bourse statement it would not be paying a dividend for 2012 as
it looks to fund business growth. The stock fell 6.3 percent.
The kingdom's benchmark climbed 0.1 percent, up for
a fourth-straight session to hit a fresh one-year high.
Bluechips supported gains, with the banking shares measure
adding 0.5 percent and the petrochemical sector index
up 0.3 percent.
"I'm waiting to see if the positive momentum will continue -
there aren't huge risks in the market right now but there also
aren't huge rewards," said Faisal Al-Othman, portfolio manager
at Riyadh-based Arab National Bank. "Sectors relying on local
demand will be outperformers this year."
In the United Arab Emirates, profit-taking slowed the recent
rally on the two main bourses.
Dubai's Arabtec fell 2.1 percent after thousands of workers
at the firm staged a rare strike, demanding higher pay.
The emirate's benchmark snapped a nine-session
rally, falling 0.5 percent to trim year-to-date gains to 44.3
Abu Dhabi benchmark slipped off its 54-month high,
falling 1.2 percent.
Turnover has surged on the two markets as fresh cash is
chasing gains following a sentiment revival in the property and
"Foreign interest has been holding up markets but there is
heavy retail buying now," said Amer Khan, fund manager at Shuaa
Asset Management. "I wouldn't speculate where the money is
coming from - this is a rich country."
Elsewhere, Qatar's measure gained 0.6 percent after
breaching 9,000 points for the first time since January 2011 in
the previous session.
Egypt's benchmark slipped 0.4 percent and Oman's
measure retreated 0.1 percent.
* The index rose 1.3 percent to 8,126 points.
* The index climbed 0.1 percent to 7,307 points.
* The index slipped 0.5 percent to 2,341 points.
* The index fell 1.2 percent to 3,523 points.
* The benchmark advanced 0.6 percent to 9,064 points.
* The index retreated 0.4 percent to 5,432 points.
* The index declined 0.1 percent to 6,385 points.
* The measure gained 0.4 percent to 1,163 points.