Kuwait to establish secondary stock market
Kuwait will open a secondary stock market in April 2001 and introduce electronic trading and new tools for the official Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE), newspapers reported Thursday, December 7.
Companies established for three years or more with a minimum capital of $1.6 million will be allowed to apply for a listing on the secondary market, Al-Rai Al-Aam quoted Commerce Minister Abdel Wahab al-Wazzan as saying.
Kuwait closed its initial secondary stocks market, the Souk al-Manakh, after a major crash in 1982 which cost the oil-rich emirate and private investors tens of billions of dollars.
Wazzan said the KSE Committee, which he chairs, had also decided to introduce electronic trading and expand forward-dated deals by accepting options and other tools in the existing bourse.
The decisions come at a time when the KSE index is hovering around five-year lows.
Kuwait opened its bourse for foreign investors in August but the decision has so far failed to attract foreign investments necessary to boost a sagging market, mainly because of a 1955 taxation law.
Wazzan insisted the law, which requires foreign firms to pay up to 55 percent of its net profits in taxes, will be amended.
Some 87 companies with market capitalization of about $20 billion are listed on the KSE, the second largest bourse in the Arab world after the NCFEI in Saudi Arabia.— (AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000