Kuwait’s Stock Exchange to Modernize in Bid to Lure Investors

  • Bourse aims to offer ETFs, options, futures and OTC platform
  • Expects to shorten formal process for foreign investors

Kuwait’s stock exchange is increasing its efforts to attract investors by reforming its trading infrastructure and introducing products such as stock options and futures.

Boursa Kuwait, as the stock exchange is known, is currently working with the local capital markets authority and settlement and clearing bodies to revamp its infrastructure, it said in an e-mail response to questions from Bloomberg News. It may introduce a new process regarding settlement cycles, clearing methods and trade-settlement issues that arise from failures, it said, without giving a timeline.

The oil-rich Gulf country is joining some of its neighbors in attempts to lure local and international investors by modernizing its trading infrastructure and implementing derivatives products after the average volume of trading increased to the highest level in three and a half years in January and its main stock index surged. Bourses in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Qatar recently announced they are working to introduce regulated short-selling this year.

“Boursa Kuwait has initiated a long list of improvements to the market, some have gotten approvals while some are still under review by the authority” for capital markets, the stock exchange said in the e-mail. It added that it is working with local authorities “to ease up and shorten the process for foreign investors to open trading accounts in Boursa Kuwait.”

The bourse has previously obtained approvals necessary for the introduction of market makers, changing the tick sizes and price limits in addition to updating the closing auction mechanism.

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