Kuwait Stocks Fall Most in Two Months After Agility Indictment; Zain Drops
Kuwait’s benchmark index retreated the most in two months, led by Agility after a U.S. federal grand jury indicted two affiliates of the Middle East’s largest storage and logistics company. Bahrain’s measure also fell.
Agility dropped the most in three months. Zain, the country’s largest telecommunications company, declined to the lowest since March 16. In Bahrain, Ahli United Bank BSC fell for the third time in four days after the central bank said it doesn’t have details about a proposed share sale in the lender. The Kuwait Stock Exchange Index lost 0.8 percent, the most since Feb. 17, to 7,487.2. Bahrain’s All Share Index declined 1.6 percent.
“It’s not getting better for Agility, and the potential fallout from the indictment is significant,” said Ibrahim Masood, a Dubai-based fund manager at Mashreqbank PSC, who helps manage about $400 million. “It is difficult to say how long the legal process will end up taking.”
Agility tumbled 7.8 percent, the most since Jan. 4, to 590 fils, bringing the slump in the past six months to 53 percent. The indictment added to charges brought against the company last year for alleged overbilling on military supplies. The expanded indictment is “regrettable,” Agility said yesterday.
Zain retreated 1.5 percent to 1,340 fils. The Congo Republic said Bharti Airtel Ltd.’s $9 billion acquisition of most of Zain’s Africa assets contravenes Zain’s license conditions in that country, Reuters reported, citing a statement attributed to Thierry Moungalla, telecommunications minister.
Zain spokesman Ibrahim Adel said the company had no comment when contacted by Bloomberg News today.
Ahli United Bank, which makes up 19 percent of Bahrain’s benchmark index, slid 7.4 percent to 69 cents. Bahrain’s central bank is “aware” of a possible sale, but is “unaware of the details,” it said in an e-mailed response to questions today.
Al-Tamdeen Real Estate Co., which owns a majority in Al- Tamdeen Investment Co., fell 7.4 percent, the most since Nov. 2, to 315 fils. Al-Tamdeen Investment said April 6 it expects to make a profit of 98 million dinars ($340 million) from selling a stake in Ahli United Bank. Al-Tamdeen Investment dropped for the first time in more than a month, declining 6.4 percent to 365 fils.
The DFM General Index dropped 0.7 percent, Abu Dhabi’s measure lost 0.2 percent and Oman’s MSM30 Index fell 0.1 percent. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index was little changed at 6,883.81. Qatar’s benchmark index rose for a ninth day, gaining 0.8 percent.
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