Boursa Kuwait highlights its journey at EFG Hermes annual conference

Al-Khaled urges market players to adapt to new realities

DUBAI: EFG HERMES’ 14th annual one-on-one conference 2018 in Dubai

KUWAIT: Boursa Kuwait recently participated in EFG HERMES’ 14th annual one-on-one conference 2018 hosted in Dubai from 5 to 7 March 2018, titled ‘Shifting Benchmarks’.

Attended by representatives of leading companies and financial institutions from across the MENA region, the conference presented a regional outlook of the financial markets, highlighting the global dynamic shifting driven by China and other frontier and emerging markets.

The first day of the conference started with a welcome note by Karim Awad, Group CEO of EFG Hermes Holding, followed by the panel discussion which has witnessed the participation of Khaled Abdulrazaq Al-Khaled, CEO of Boursa Kuwait, who made a case for the impact of effective operations of capital markets on the economic growth, particularly in times of monumental global changes that require all players to adapt to new realities. The conference was also attended by representatives of “Tadawul” the Saudi Stock Exchange, the Egyptian Stock Exchange and Dubai Financial Market, as well representatives of Capital Market Authorities from Kuwait, Egypt, KSA and UAE.

Al-Khaled presented a number of the milestones achieved by Boursa Kuwait, since it assumed operations of Kuwait stock market in April 2016, Al Khaled emphasized how frontier markets can strategically pursue an upgrade by relentlessly enhancing transparency levels and improving rules and regulations, guided by international best practices. It is worth mentioning that one of the major milestones Boursa Kuwait achieved was the classification upgrade from Frontier Market to Secondary Emerging Market received in September 2017, and its entry into the Emerging Market Index, which will take place later this year. The new classification is expected to boost foreign investment in the securities listed on the Kuwaiti exchange. On a parallel initiative Boursa Kuwait’s continues its collaboration with the Middle East Investors Relation Association (MEIRA), in an effort to enhance relations between local and foreign investors within Boursa Kuwait and listed companies.

Another upcoming project of Boursa Kuwait which will enhance the conditions of the Kuwaiti market and increase liquidity, according to CEO Al-Khaled, is its segmented market. Al-Khaled stressed on the importance of taking a comprehensive approach, a conscious organization and a futuristic vision, which is reflected in the gradual approach Boursa Kuwait commenced in the transformation of the stock exchange through prudent stages, which ultimately aims to enhance the position of the exchange and develop its operations.

Initiated as part of the reforms to support the growth of the Kuwaiti economy, the transformation of Kuwait stock exchange from government owned to a shareholding company, marked the beginning of an unrivaled transition. Boursa Kuwait has set out bringing the exchange up to par with the world’s leading exchanges. The past 22 months have seen the introduction of a new infrastructure along with new products and tools, aimed at creating a robust, transparent and accessible capital market that services all relevant asset classes.

Among the achievements of Boursa Kuwait is the launch of the Interim Post Trade Model (IPTM1), which includes unifying the Settlement Cycle to T+3, Corporate Actions, New Tick Sizes, Increased Price Limits, and Randomized Closing Auction for the first time in Kuwait, the second phase of market development and publishing a new rulebook containing regulations and guidelines for listed companies, are only a few examples of the great accomplishments made by Boursa Kuwait to date, with the ongoing support and back up of Kuwait’s Capital Markets Authority as well as Kuwait Clearing Company.

During the conference Karim Awad, Group CEO of EFG Hermes Holding, said: “I strongly believe that this year’s conference was held at an ideal time, as it coincides with the company’s plan to expand into new markets and the evolution of its network, to include international clients that are interested in exploring the attractive growth opportunities within the emerging markets”.

“This year’s edition of the conference is also very important given the current outlook on emerging markets, which indicates that these markets will be the focus of investors in 2018, due to the rapid economic growth, unique demographics and the growth of the middle class, considering it is the main driver of the consumer sectors,” added Awad.

The conference also featured ‘EFG Hermes Pulse’, the world’s largest ever electronic survey on the views of international investors and corporate leaders on emerging markets and key issues of interest to the business community and investment in emerging markets.

Boursa Kuwait also participated in the conference, by exhibiting its newly introduced products and services, and took the opportunity to interact with attendees through a dedicated booth at the venue.

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