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Stocks in Kuwait's Troubled Gulf Bank Dive - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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KUWAIT CITY (AFP) – Shares in Kuwait’s Gulf Bank dived more than 50 percent when they resumed trading on Tuesday after a six-month suspension over massive losses from derivative trading.

Gulf Bank stocks were trading at 0.45 dinars (1.55 dollars) just after the opening, down 52.6 percent from their last price of 0.95 dinars (3.27 dollars) before they were suspended in October.

The bank, the second biggest lender in the oil-rich Gulf state, lost 1.3 billion dollars from derivatives deals when a number of its clients defaulted.

And last month, it announced a net loss of 359.5 million dinars (1.24 billion dollars) for 2008, compared to a net profit of 130.4 million dinars (450 million dollars) the year before.

Gulf Bank doubled its capital in January through a rights issue, with the state-run Kuwait Investment Authority buying a a 16 percent stake, and last week the bank elected a new board and chairman.

Kuwait’s government has guaranteed deposits at all banks operating in the emirate and the central bank has pumped hundreds of millions of dinars into the banking system.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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