Kuwait bourse sets record high

Kuwaiti shares have closed past the 12,000-point mark for the first time on the back of optimism that the new emir will embark more aggressively on stalled economic reforms, analysts and traders said.

    The new Emir has overwhealming backing of Parliament

    Strong oil prices and better-than-expected revenues that pushed liquidity levels to new highs also contributed to the rally on Sunday, they said.

    The Kuwait Stock Exchange Index finished trading at 12,054.00 points, up 1.1% on last Wednesday's close of 11,923.00 points.

    Sunday was the first day of trading in the week as Saturday was a public holiday. The bourse in Islamic Kuwait operates from Saturday through Wednesday. 

    Analysts and traders attributed the new record to optimism over the new Gulf state's leader, high oil prices because of tension over Iran's nuclear programme and a sharp rise in corporate profits last year.
      
    Eager expectations

    "Investors are highly optimistic that the new emir will push economic reforms more aggressively. This will accelerate implementing more mega projects"

    Sami al-Hasawi, Kuwait Financial Centre

    "Investors are highly optimistic that the new emir will push economic reforms more aggressively. This will accelerate implementing more mega projects," deputy manager of Kuwait Financial Centre, Sami al-Hasawi told reporters.
      
    "This will mean more liquidity in the market and more business and profitability for private companies," he said.

    Liberal-leaning Shaikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah was appointed new emir on 29 January after parliament removed ailing Shaikh Saad al-Abdullah al-Sabah in an unprecedented vote a week earlier.
      
    The appointement ended a two-week crisis over succession following the death of previous emir Shaikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah on 15 January.

    Kuwait, which sits on 10% of proven global crude reserves, is forecast to post record high revenues of around $56 billion and a budget surplus close to $23 billion this year.  

    SOURCE: AFP


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