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The Daily Star / jordinvest weekly review of Arab stock markets

West Asia:

The ASE closed the week 2.94 percent higher, driven by the continued announcements of companies' 2004 results. In the banking sector, the Arab Bank advanced 2.21 percent to close at JD277, while Jordan Investment and Finance Bank soared by 15.3 percent to close at JD4.30. In the industrial sector, Middle East Complex announced the distribution of 10 percent cash dividends leading to a 15 percent jump in its share price to JD2.38.

Lebanon: Driven by the performance of Solidere shares, the Blom Stock Index registered a weekly gain of 3.46 percent. Market turnover increased by 285 percent to $48.75 million. Solidere shares constituted over 90 percent of total value traded, with its "A" shares rising by 5.5 percent to $8.46, and its "B" shares up 4.38 percent to $8.35.

Palestine: Al-Quds Index recorded a weekly surge of 15.55 percent on investor optimism of better economic situations. PADICO, which is in the process of restructuring and merging its affiliates/subsidiaries, soared by 25 percent to $2.85. PALTEL jumped 15.6 percent to JD8.60 following the announcement of its 2004 profits of JD35 million and the distribution of 50 percent stock option in addition to 20 percent cash dividends.

Arab Gulf:

Saudi Arabia:
Continuing its upward trend, the index ended the week 2.9 percent higher driven by the increase in petrochemical-related stocks, where SABIC rose by 5.8 percent to SR1,248 on investors' optimism of strong first quarter results, while Saudi Industrial Investment Group soared by 8.6 percent to SR590. The market was also affected by an 11 percent surge in Etihad Etisalat to close at SR445.

Bahrain: The BSE registered a weekly advance of 4.3 percent on strong 2004 financial results. Batelco surged 8.3 percent to BD1.3. Bahrain-based Arab Banking Corporation reported 2004 net income of $579 million, compared to $120 million in 2003. While Securities and Investment Company announced 2004 net profit of BD4 million, a 164 percent rise from 2003.

Kuwait: The KSE ended the week 2.25 percent higher on gains in the services sector stocks. Bayan Investment Company soared by 27.1 percent to KD0.61, while Mobile Telecom Company closed the week up 3.2 percent at KD3.86. In the banking sector, the National Bank of Kuwait slipped 1.72 percent to KD1.14. The Bank signed an agreement to arrange a bond issue worth KD21.5 million maturing March 1, 2010 for Kuwait Financing and Investment Company.

UAE: The Shuaa General Index closed the week up 10 percent driven by the announcements of distributions and profits. Emaar Properties ended 8 percent higher at AED14.2, on approving a revised dividend proposal of AED0.13 cash dividend per share and a 7 percent stock dividend of paid-in-capital. Etisalat, announcing an AED5 cash dividend per share and a bonus share of 1:10, surged 5.2 percent to AED288.4.

Oman: The MSM advanced 4.0 percent on the week on strong 2004 financial results. Bank Muscat closed up 4.7 percent at OR7.20, while National Bank of Oman soared 10.5 percent to OR2.82.

Qatar: Recording the best performance among Arab markets, the DSM surged by 16.20 percent on the sharp rise of "Industries Qatar" which reported a 121 percent profit growth in 2004. The market is witnessing increased trading volumes ahead of the entrance of foreign investors on April 3 this year. The National Bank of Qatar soared 25.7 percent to QR328.80.

North Africa:

The Cairo and Alexandria Stock Exchange recorded a weekly gain of 8.3 percent on the strong performance of Orascom Telecom which jumped by 10.7 percent to EP416.85, after winning a 15 year license to build and operate the second fixed line network in Algeria for $65 million. Sinai Cement Company reported a 127 percent year-on-year growth in its 2004 net income to reach EP 80.7 million.

Morocco: Witnessing an unstable week, the index slipped by 0.30 percent, bringing its year to date losses to 1.61 percent. SAM retreated by 0.59 percent to MD337, while Managem closed down 2.3 percent at MD205.

Tunisia: Tunindex inched up 0.15 percent on the week, bringing its year-to-date losses to 1.19 percent. SFBT remained stable at TD40.500, while Sotetel dropped 11.7 percent to TD21.2.

Amman,03 14 2005
The Daily Star
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