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Kuwait hires HSBC to advise on stock market privatisation
Kuwait's Capital Markets Authority said on Sunday it has hired HSBC to advise on plans to privatise the Gulf Arab state's stock exchange and sell a stake in an initial public offering.
January 22, 2012 5:31 by Reuters
The privatisation plan, if completed, would make the Kuwaiti exchange the second listed bourse in the region after the Dubai Financial Market.
“This will make Kuwait one of the first countries in the region to privatise its exchange and we are confident that the privatisation will be of great benefit to the Kuwaiti economy, investors and the listed companies,” said Abdullah Al-Gabandi, head of the exchange privatisation committee at the Capital Markets Authority, according to Kuwait’s state news agency, KUNA.
The privatisation plan was outlined in Kuwait’s new Capital Markets Authority Law, which also set up the OPEC state’s first market regulator.
Under the plan, 50 percent of the stock market will be floated in an initial public offering for Kuwaiti citizens. The remaining 50 percent will be auctioned to listed companies, each of which can only buy a 5 percent stake in the market.
Last year, the exchange’s head said the IPO plan was flawed and hurt its independence.
The Kuwait index, which fell 16.4 percent in 2011, ended flat on Sunday.