The value of contracts awarded to companies listed on Kuwait’s bourse plunged by nearly 67 percent in the second quarter of 2022, local reports showed on Monday.

From around 512 million Kuwaiti dinars ($1.69 billion) in the first quarter, the total value of awarded contracts dipped to nearly 168 million dinars ($554.5 million), the Arabic language daily Al-Anba said, citing official data.

It showed the value of contracts in the first half of 2022 was down by nearly 7.5 percent compared with the first half of 2021, when it stood at 735 million dinars ($2.42 billion).

A breakdown showed 15 companies won 36 contracts in the first half of 2022 compared with 14 firms which were awarded 32 deals in the first half of 2021.

The report showed the Health Ministry was the largest tender issuer, awarding contracts worth nearly 409.3 million dinars ($1.35 billion) in the first half of 2022.

It was followed by the state-owned Kuwait Oil Company, which awarded five projects worth about 75.3 million dinars ($248.5 million) in the same period.

Sector-wise, services had the lion’s share of the projects, with awarded contracts accounting for nearly 62 percent of the total in the first half of 2022, followed by construction projects, which accounted for 17.3 percent, according to the report.

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; editing by Seban Scaria)