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Kuwait appoints new cabinet; mixed lead for Gulf


Kuwait has appointed a new cabinet last week but the effects may remain currently muted. We are seeing old faces in fresh posts.


July 22, 2012 10:40 by

Kuwait’s bourse is unlikely to be boosted on Sunday by the appointment of a new cabinet, with the country waiting for new government elections.

The Muslim holy month of Ramadan started on Thursday evening and trading on Gulf markets is likely to be muted.

Kuwait’s new cabinet was approved on Thursday, which ushered back many of the old faces following the resignation of the last one in June in a standoff with parliament.

Hani Hussein was reappointed as oil minister and Nayef al-Hajraf was given the finance portfolio in the new 14-member cabinet, state new agency KUNA reported. New elections are expected to be held after Ramadan.

“There is no major change in the new cabinet, it was actually expected. According to the constitution, after the news election, the current cabinet will have to step down and a new one will be formed,” Kuwaiti political analyst Ghanim al-Najjar said.

Elsewhere, Saudi Arabia’s index rose on Saturday, closing 0.6 percent higher as bargain hunters bought battered petrochemical stocks that had fallen following weak sector earnings.

Kingdom Holding, the investment firm of Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, will be in focus after posting a 9.4 percent rise in its second quarter net profit.

A negative global backdrop may spur caution among Gulf investors. U.S. and European stocks fell on Friday after Spain’s heavily indebted Valencia region asked for financial aid, increasing investor fears that the Spanish government will seek a full-blown bailout.

(Reporting by Nadia Saleem; Editing by Matt Smith)


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