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Kamco raises Housing Finance stake

Kuwait City, October 10, 2007

Kuwait's Asset Management Co (Kamco) raised its stake in mortgage lender Housing Finance Co to 9.32 percent from 5.32 percent, the Kuwaiti bourse said.

Investment firm Zumorroda Investment Holding Co cut its stake in Housing Finance to 16.057 percent from 16.145 percent, according to data published on the bourse Web site.

A construction firm, al-Inshaat al-Sharqiya (Oriental Constructions), raised its stake to 13.05 percent from 12.9 percent, according to the Web site.

Ownership of Housing Finance has changed hands several times in the past few weeks with trading volumes ballooning. The five-day trading volumes amount to 16.2 million shares compared to the 90-day average of 3.03 million shares, according to Reuters data.

Commercial Bank of Kuwait (CBK) has sold its 11.89 percent stake over the market, a CBK official told Reuters last month.

The bourse earlier this week also removed National Industries Company for Building Materials and Wafra investment from the list of stakeholders owning 5 percent or more in the company. They had held previously 10 percent and 5.5 percent respectively.

State-run Public Institution for Social Security of Kuwait remains the biggest shareholder with an unchanged 23.51 percent stake, the Web site said.

Daily al-Rai said on Tuesday that Finance Minister Badr al-Humaidhi had launched an investigation into whether a stake in Housing Finance was sold to a company owned by a deputy and his brothers without having it offered in a public auction.

"The result will be made public to everyone based on the principle of transparency which the ministry of finance and its agencies is pursuing," the paper quoted the minister as saying.

It did not name the company. Under Kuwaiti rules, stake sale of more than 5 percent have to be offered formally in auctions though rarely other investors enter the fray. - Reuters    




Tags: Kamco | housing finance |

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