KUWAIT: The ministry of commerce and industry has issued a decision allowing foreign investors to own and trade Kuwaiti banks' shares. But the approval of the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) should be obtained, if ownership exceeds five percent of the bank's capital, the ministry in a press statement yesterday.

The latest move comes in accordance with decree 694/2018, which notes that non-Kuwaiti investors shall be allowed to own and trade in Kuwaiti banks' shares.

The decision stated that ownership of a foreign investor shall not exceed five percent in any Kuwaiti bank, whether directly or indirectly.

The ministry added that the Capital Markets Authority said that its promotional tours in many countries and with many international investors generated inquiries about the ease of investing in the Kuwaiti market.

It pointed out that those foreign investors spoke about existence of obstacles or restrictions imposed on foreign investors, including the maximum percentage of non-Kuwaiti investors' ownership in a single bank, which is supposed to not exceed 49 percent of the bank's capital only after obtaining prior approval of the Cabinet and consulting the Central Bank of Kuwait. - KUNA