Kuwait urged to allow Gulf, foreign banking units
The Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) has called for the government to allow Gulf banking units to operate in the emirate and to prepare the ground for foreign banks, the CBK governor said Monday, February 12.
"CBK has submitted certain proposals to allow national Gulf banks to work here, and to prepare the ground for the presence of foreign banking units," Sheikh Salem Abdul Aziz al-Sabah told reporters after opening a two-day banking seminar.
Under Kuwaiti law, only national banks are allowed to operate in the oil-rich emirate and they enjoy strong government protection. "We must state that justifications for the protection (of banks) guaranteed by prevailing legislation ... no longer exist," Sheikh Salem said in his speech at the seminar.
"Globalization and liberalization in major financial markets ... have created new conditions which change the terms for banking competition in Kuwait," he told the symposium on "Prospects and Future of Banks and Globalization Challenges."
Sheikh Salem urged Kuwaiti banks to upgrade and merge to be able to face up to competition from international giants. —(AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)