Stock market out of reach for most of Kuwait's foreign workers
Most foreign workers in Kuwait don't make enough money to invest, raising doubts about the government decision to allow foreigners to buy securities.
About one million foreigners work in Kuwait and according to the ministry of planning, 99 percent are working in the country's private sector as unskilled laborers with a monthly income of about 100 dinars (US$30). The average income of a foreign worker in Kuwait is 218 dinars (US$66).
The ministry said only 11 percent of foreigners with high-income professions like doctors, company heads and businessmen, have the potential to invest.
Businessmen who are the most keen on investment only make up 3 percent of the total foreign force in Kuwait.
Kuwait had hoped its decision to allow foreigners to invest would cause Kuwaiti stocks to jump. However, with low wages and money transferred to the homeland, most foreign workers find are left with little personal savings, not nearly enough for investing in the stock market. A foreigner must have $330,000 in savings in order to do business at the stock market.
For these reasons, economists have said that government should focus on improving industry, trade, and exports to attract potential investors.
Kuwait's stock market came in at number two on the list of important Arab Stock Markets. Egypt was number one. – (Albawaba-MEBG)
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)