Kuwait stocks slump to new 8-year low
Kuwait, November 4, 2012
Kuwait's stock market slumped to a new eight-year low ahead of a planned protest on Sunday, but volumes were thin as nervous investors stayed away.
The index slipped 0.5 percent to 5,631 points, slumping to its lowest level since July 2004.
Kuwait said it had not issued a permit to allow a planned protest on Sunday against new voting rules and the prime minister warned police would use force if the nation was under threat.
Eight of the 10 largest stocks by market value traded flat. Kuwait Finance House and National Mobile Telecommunications Co (Wataniya) declined 1.3 and 3.7 percent respectively.
"Not many people are selling, trading values are low - people are scared to leave or to enter the market," said Fouad Darwish, head of brokerage at Global Investment House.
Unlike other Gulf countries, few Kuwait companies have reported third-quarter earnings, delaying disclosure to limit the negative impact from the political scene on their stocks, he added.
Small-caps dominated trade, signalling mostly retail investor activity. National Ranges was the most active stock, falling 5.6 percent. Ithmaar Bank shed 2.1 percent and Manazel Holding dropped percent.
Elsewhere, Qatar's benchmark slipped 0.1 percent to 8,594 points, easing away from a six-week high.
UAE markets traded near-flat. Dubai's index ticked up 0.08 percent to 1,624 points and Abu Dhabi's measure rose 0.03 percent to 2,674 points. - Reuters