|01 September, 2019

Kuwait Capital Markets Authority greenlights Boursa Kuwait IPO, subscription to take place in Q4

50% of the company will be offered to the public, shrinking the government-affiliated stake to only 6%

Kuwait: 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), announced today that it will launch an initial public offering (IPO) of its shares in the exchange in 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).

The privatization process is being implemented in two phases. The first phase 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. 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 and the private sector (44%), while the Kuwaiti government through the Public Institution for Social Security will retain the remaining 6%.

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 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.

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About the Capital Markets Authority (CMA)
The Capital Markets Authority was established pursuant to Law No. 7/2010, approved by the Kuwaiti Parliament in February 2010. Pursuant to the Law, the CMA shall regulate and supervise the securities activities, achieve transparency and fairness, observe listed companies’ execution of Corporate Governance regulations, and protect investors from unfair practices which violate the CMA Law. Furthermore, the Law's provisions stipulate the supervision of mergers, acquisitions, and disclosure operations. The CMA also aims to provide awareness programs related to securities activities.

The CMA is committed to setting supervisory and controlling regulations which support an attractive and competitive investment environment in the State of Kuwait; based on the principles of fairness, transparency, and integrity according to the best international practice. The CMA aims to be a leading regulatory authority which works on developing and supervising the activities of capital markets in the State of Kuwait, and creating an attractive investment environment that obtains investors' trust.

For more information, reporters may contact:
Fawaz Al Sirri | Bensirri Public Relations | Email: fawaz@bensirri.com 

© Press Release 2019

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