Boursa Kuwait confirms IPO in fourth quarter

Capital Markets Authority's 50% share in the bourse will be offered for public subscription to Kuwaiti citizens

The Boursa Kuwait plans an IPO on October 1, 2019. Reuters
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Boursa Kuwait confirmed plans for an initial public offering of its shares in the fourth quarter of 2019 when the 50 per cent share held in the exchange's operating company held by the Capital Markets Authority will be offered to Kuwaiti citizens.

The share sale marks the second and final stage of the privatisation process of Boursa Kuwait Securities Company, where shares of the Capital Markets Authority in the company will be offered for public subscription to citizens, the CMA said in a statement on Monday.

"The privatisation of Boursa Kuwait Securities Company is regarded as an important step towards achieving the ambitious national development objectives that are set forth in Kuwait’s vision of 2035, which will enhance Kuwait’s status as a regional financial centre, and will grant the private sector a stronger role and a greater opportunity to develop the national economy," the CMA said.

The announcement confirms Boursa Kuwait's plans for an IPO by the end of the year, which Mohamed Al Osaimi, acting chief executive of the exchange, revealed in an interview with The National in June.

After listing, 50 per cent of Boursa Kuwait's shares will be owned by citizens and 44 per cent will be owned by strategic investors, while the remaining 6 per cent will be owned by the Kuwaiti government, through the Public Institution for Social Security.

Kuwait's $98 billion stock market, which is similar in size to markets in New Zealand and Ireland, is currently the largest member of the MSCI’s main frontier gauge, but it is set to be upgraded to emerging market status in June next year.  The upgrade has seen active managers buying Kuwaiti stocks ahead of anticipated passive inflows, with the Kuwait All Share Index up 17.6 per cent so far this year.