* Kuwait companies have until end-February to report
* Kuwait 15 index of top companies barely falls
* Dubai resumes rising but some funds flowing to Qatar
* Saudis shift to real estate shares from blue chips
* Egypt triggers massive double bottom
By Nadia Saleem
DUBAI, Feb 20 Kuwait's bourse fell to a
four-week low on Thursday as investors sold shares because of
concern that shares of companies which have not yet reported
earnings could be suspended from trading. Most other markets in
the region were firm.
Kuwait's main index slid 0.8 percent to its lowest
level since Jan. 19, while daily trading volume was the lowest
so far this year.
"People are worried that companies will not fulfil CMA's
(the regulator) rules on results," said Fouad Darwish, head of
brokerage services at Global Investment House.
Companies have been given until the end of February to
disclose fourth-quarter earnings or their shares will be
suspended from trading. Darwish said only 75 percent of firms
had so far posted results.
Small-cap Manazel Holding led trading volumes as
it tumbled 7.7 percent.
Large-caps Zain and National Bank of Kuwait
added to the downward pressure, losing 1.5 and 1.0
percent, but the Kuwait 15 index, which comprises the
top 15 stocks, only eased 0.1 percent.
Darwish said some investors were booking profits to raise
money and pay back loans that they had taken out for share
trading. "It's just an inventory shake-up...The KW15 didn't
change much, which gives comfort that there isn't an exodus by
institutional investors," Darwish said.
In Dubai, the bourse resumed gaining after two sessions of
losses as fresh money came in. Emaar Properties
advanced 2.1 percent and Union Properties, which led
trading volumes, added 2.6 percent.
The main index rose 0.7 percent, extending its 2014
gains to 24.1 percent. Abu Dhabi's benchmark followed
suit, advancing 0.7 percent to a new five-year high.
Some institutional investors remain concerned by the speed
of Dubai's gains, however. Blackrock Frontiers Investment Trust,
part of major global asset manager Blackrock, said in an update
on its portfolio that it had cut its exposure to United Arab
Emirates stock markets "substantially" last month because of
signs the markets were overheating.
"We have noted the positive sentiment surrounding both Abu
Dhabi and Dubai but are now beginning to (see) signs of
speculative excess that warrants caution," it said.
Some money leaving the UAE is going to Qatar, which is seen
as a more stable market. Doha's index climbed 0.4 percent
to a new 67-month high on Thursday, standing up 14.4 percent
"Qatar could benefit now from investors moving from UAE to
Qatar," said Ali Adou, portfolio manager at The National
Investor. "Logically, it is defensive by nature. Local and
international institutionals will take positions because of its
Elsewhere, Saudi Arabian investors shifted funds to real
estate shares as gains in blue chips slowed. Property developer
Jabal Omar rose 6.6 percent and Dar Al Arkan
gained 2.7 percent.
The Saudi index gained 0.2 percent as trading volume
surged to its highest level since September 2013.
"People are now rebalancing their portfolios to target real
estate and mid- to small-cap firms," said Hesham Tuffaha, head
of portfolio management at a Riyadh-based investment company.
In Egypt, the benchmark index rose 0.7 percent, up
for a fourth consecutive session to a new five-year high. It
closed at 7,893 points, confirming a break above the April 2010
peak of 7,693 points.
That is very long-term bullish technically, triggering a
double bottom formed by the 2009 and 2011 lows and pointing up
ultimately above 11,000 points.
Investor sentiment is upbeat as the country nears
presidential elections; Arabs were net buyers of stocks on
Thursday while other foreign investors were sellers, bourse data
* The index fell 0.8 percent to 7,737 points.
* The index gained 0.7 percent to 4,183 points.
* The index rose 0.7 percent to 4,915 points.
* The index advanced 0.4 percent to 11,872 points.
* The index climbed 0.7 percent to 7,893 points.
* The index gained 0.2 percent to 8,989 points.
* The index rose 0.6 percent to 1,366 points.
* The index slipped 0.3 percent to 7,167 points.