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|21 March, 2018

Kuwait to launch IPO of Az-Zour water and power project in three months

We are waiting for the regulators' approval of the prospectus (in a month), says official

Image for illustrative purposes. Camels graze around power grid towers in the Kuwaiti desert .

Image for illustrative purposes. Camels graze around power grid towers in the Kuwaiti desert .

REUTERS/Stephanie McGehee

KUWAIT- Kuwait plans to begin selling shares in its Az-Zour North Independent Water & Power Project to the public in three months time, a Kuwaiti official told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference on Wednesday.

"We are waiting for the regulators' approval of the prospectus (in a month). Two months after the approval, the subscription will start according to the law," said Mutlaq al-Sanei, who heads the Kuwait Authority for Partnership Projects.

The government plans to offer 50 percent of Az-Zour North One, which has a capacity of at least 1,500 MW, to Kuwaiti citizens.

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Those shares will come out of the 60 percent stake currently owned by sovereign wealth fund, the Kuwait Investment Authority, the Public Institution for Social Security, and the Kuwait Authority for Partnership Projects.

The remaining 40 percent is owned by France's Engie, Japan's Sumitomo Corp and Kuwaiti firm AH Al Sagar & Brothers.

Kuwait and other Gulf states are promoting independent power projects, in which companies other than public utilities invest in and operate power plants, to reduce the burden on state budgets.

(Reporting by Ahmed Hagagy, writing by Katie Paul; Editing by Toby Chopra and Louise Heavens) ((Katie.Paul@thomsonreuters.com;))