Dubai: Kuwait’s stock exchange will introduce a new equities benchmark next year after completing a reorganisation of its listed companies into new market categories, the bourse’s chief executive officer said.
Boursa Kuwait, as the exchange is known, will group companies in segments according to criteria including market capitalisation and average daily traded volume as part of a programme to boost liquidity and draw new investors and issuers, CEO Khaled Al Khaled said in an interview in Kuwait City on Sunday.
“We are engaging with stakeholders on a daily basis to know what are their needs,” said Al Khaled, who is also the stock exchange’s vice chairman. “Once all what we have planned is implemented, we will be a tough market to compete with.”
Kuwait is joining Gulf neighbours including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in upgrading and expanding equities trading to attract investors. The allocation of stocks to new categories is expected in the first quarter of next year, advancing a program to revamp post-trade and settlement systems that’s already underway, Al Khaled said, citing estimates on timing from the Capital Markets Authority. Once the segmentation is in place, derivative products and exchange traded funds will be offered to local and international investors.
Kuwait’s SE Price Index, the main local stock gauge, currently has 177 members, with several of them registering few days of trading in the past year. The reorganisation will enable investors to select the market segment with the volume and activity levels most desirable for their needs.
Here are further comments from the interview with Al Khaled and Mohammad Al Osaimi, who is executive director for markets at Boursa Kuwait.