May 17, 2009 / 7:56 AM / 10 years ago

Kuwait halts trading in 26 firms

KUWAIT (Reuters) - The Kuwait bourse has halted trading in 26 companies for failing to publish their 2009 first quarter earnings on time, the bourse said on its website on Sunday.

The 26 halted firms include Islamic firm Investment Dar TIDK.KW, Aayan Leasing & Investment Co (AAYA.KW), and Gulf Investment House (GIHK.KW). Trading in Dar remains halted since the beginning of April for failing to publish its 2008 earnings results.

Dar, which holds stakes in companies such as carmaker Aston Martin and Boubyan Bank (BOUK.KW), said last week that it had defaulted on a $100 million Islamic debt issue, the first such default for a major, public Islamic instrument in the region.

The bourse, the Arab world’s second-largest, had last halted trading in shares of 36 firms on April 1, including the country’s biggest investment bank Global Investment House GLOB.KW, for missing the bourse deadline for 2008 earnings results.

Last week, Global posted a net loss of 69.5 million dinars in its first quarter, compared with a net profit of 34.7 million in the year-earlier period.

Trading usually resumes minutes after posting the financial results on the bourse website.

Kuwait is the only Gulf Arab state without an independent authority supervising its bourse, and analysts have long demanded better regulation and clarity on stock market rules.

Kuwait’s bourse .KWSE was down 0.1 percent at 6:57 GMT.

Reporting by Eman Goma

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