Modernizing the infrastructure is 'a priority'

Khaled Al-Khaled

KUWAIT: Modernizing the infrastructure of Boursa Kuwait (the Kuwaiti stock exchange) in line with the international criteria is 'a priority' for building a strong, transparent, and fair capital market serving all investment assets related to securities. Boursa Kuwait Company CEO Khaled Al-Khaled made the statement in an interview with KUNA yesterday, a day after the stock exchange applied the second phase of revamping the bourse with a new system dividing the market into three sub-ones, Premier, Main, and Auctions.

The company is working on a host of world-class products and services; short selling, marginal lending, market maker, trading in investment funds and derivatives, Al-Khaled added. To avoid risks, these products will be launched to increase liquidity on the market once the necessary infrastructure is in place. Al-Khaled noted that the bourse is hard at work to lure international, family and government companies to the market, as well as public-private partnerships firms. He said that the launch of the second phase of developing the bourse on Sunday offered more flexible listing rules. According to the CEO, each sub-market has a particular listing requirements, except for auctions.

They focus on the free-floating value and not a ratio from the capital, besides removing the profitability requirement, a matter that will help diversify the listed companies in terms of operation, in away that mirrors the local economy, Al-Khaled said. The new listing rules have seen the shareholder condition changed from 200 to 450, with a minimum KD 10,000 ($33,000) for each stockholder, which will raise liquidity. In the meantime, Al-Khaled noted that the changes in the market after the second phase seek to boost transparency and disclosure, to enhance investors' confidence in the market. On the abolition of the "Price Index" of the old system, Al-Khaled said it was not "suitable for the market, as it did not represent the value of the local economy. - KUNA