Kuwait’s Capital Markets Authority (CMA), the regulatory body for securities and current owner of 50% of Boursa Kuwait Securities Company (Kuwait’s only stock exchange operator), today (August 31) announced plans to launch an initial public offering (IPO) of its shares in the exchange during the fourth quarter of 2019.
The IPO is the second and final phase of the privatization process of Boursa Kuwait and follows the sale of 44% of the company to strategic investors in February 2019.
Upon conclusion of the transaction, 94% of Boursa Kuwait will be owned by private investors (corporate and individual investors).
According to CMA, the privatisation process is being implemented in two phases.
The Phase One took place in February 2019 wherein by law and through an open and transparent process, a strategic consortium consisting of domestic and international investors acquired a 44% stake in the company.
The consortium comprised Athens Stock Exchange, National Investments Company, First Investment Company, and Arzan Financial Group.
In the second phase, the nation-wide IPO, is expected to be implemented in the last quarter of 2019 with the distribution of the CMA’s 50% stake in the company to citizens.
Upon listing, 50% of Boursa Kuwait's shares will be owned by citizens while the private sector will have 44% stake and the Kuwaiti government through the Public Institution for Social Security will retain the remaining 6%, said the statement.
Boursa Kuwait was founded in 2014 by the CMA Commissioners’ Council Resolution No. 37/2013 to replace the Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE).
The privatization of Kuwait’s stock exchange is an important step towards achieving the ambitious national development goals set out in Kuwait Vision 2035 with an aim to strengthen the country’s position as a regional financial center and give the private sector a stronger role and a greater opportunity to develop the national economy.
Since then, the CMA has embarked on a mission to transform the company into a leading regional exchange that is built on global best practices and structures.
The transformation program introduced reforms to increase competitiveness and liquidity, reinforce transparency and management, elevate investor confidence, and attract international, regional, and domestic investments.
As a result of the successful implementation of these reforms since 2014, Boursa Kuwait was upgraded to Emerging Market status by the leading global indices.
The exchange was included in FTSE Russell Emerging Markets Index (FTSE) in September 2017 and S&P Dow Jones Global Benchmark Indices with an emerging market classification in December 2018.-TradeArabia News Service
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