Thursday , January 17 2019

Move to ‘privatize’ KSE moves one step closer – More flexible mechanisms eyed

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 1: The privatization of Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) has reached a new level of discussion between the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) and a number of major investment groups in a bid to create more flexible mechanisms in favor of all parties and interpret the interest of the Board of Commissioners properly, reports Al-Rai daily.

The companies and investment groups include NBK Capital, National Investment Company, KAMCO and ALMARKAZ (Kuwait Financial Center) among others. Some suggestions were presented during the discussions, such as enforcing Article 33 of Law No. 7/2010 stating that:

■ A rate ranging from six to 24 percent is specified for public institutions like the Public Authority for Investment (PAI), Public Institution for Social Security (PIFSS) and others that have the right to own shares, while the percentage which is not underwritten goes to the winning investor.

■ A percentage ranging from 26 to 44 percent for subscription of registered companies with an international bourse operator. The article also stipulates 50 percent for public subscription open to all citizens. CMA will lay down regulations, adjustments and conditions for bidding bodies and the auction is settled in favor of the one who offers the best price for the share over its bare value in addition to beginning expenses if any.

Sources disclosed the suggestions include applying the article concerning the operator without contravening its stipulations, pointing out that coalition bodies and local companies have the right to agree on an operator whose abilities match the conditions defined by CMA. Another suggestion is to grant the operator the right to own low number of shares, not exceeding 0.5 percent of the capital of the stock market or a little bit more if it requires so. Sources said the coalition might start by establishing a company that will own shares of both the coalition and the operator.

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