Kuwaiti economists hail dual IPOs as historic milestone

Kuwaiti economists have agreed that the local stock exchange and Az-Zour North One Power Plant’s initial public offerings (IPO), in which the companies’ shares are offered to citizens, is an unprecedented event in the country’s history.

As per the regulatory process, Kuwaiti nationals are urged to pay their dues before they are considered eligible to purchase the 50 percent of shares offered by the Kuwaiti stock exchange, the economists said in separate statements to local media.

The dual IPOs have opened the door to a fair process in which the stock market’s shares will be offered on an equal basis to all nationals, according to Kuwait International Bank’s Board of Trustees member Dr. Haider Al-Jumaa.

The timing of the IPOs is quite apropos with turnout expected to be large, said Sulaiman AlWuqayan, who was among the economists who weighed in on the matter, urging citizens to hold on to the shares upon their purchase. Hailing the event as a “golden opportunity,” the chairman of Kuwait’s “Al-Nemsh” firm Ali AlNemsh urged his fellow compatriots not to squnder the chance, saying it would help pave the way for more foreign investment in the country.

Kuwait has taken measures in recent years to privatize its stock exchange, which was officially established in 1983 and is one of the oldest markets in the Middle East. As per a law passed in 2010, the CMA is supposed to offer 50 percent of the shares to Kuwaiti citizens and another 50 percent to ten companies already listed on the stock exchange.