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Experts say listing banks’ shares stimulates, balances Boursa Kuwait

KUWAIT: The listing of regular and Islamic banks shares in Boursa Kuwait, Kuwait’s stock exchange, is an act that stimulated and balanced the market, said a number of experts on Monday. The capital of the banking sector is worth over KD 4.5 billion ($16.2 billion). The rolling of shares in Boursa Kuwait is still at normal and fair levels, experts said in separate interviews. Banks’ shares have proven to be robust and steady in the last four years due to tight central auditing and international regulations and standards, which attracted regional and foreign investments, said Waleed Al-Houti, chairman of the board for Al-Dorra Petroleum Services Company.

He noted that the transparency in sharing news of shares and maintaining the rights of shareholders led to foreign investors and funds to seek such shares. He pointed out that foreign shares in the banking sectors reached over 20 especially after the recent decision by the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK), which agreed to distribute banks’ half-year profits and that increased liquidity of the sector in the market.

Digital transactions was another perk that the banking sector took advantage of in favor of clients and fair competition, said Al-Houti who predicted that activities of the banking sector would continue to thrive for the remainder of the year. Member of the board for the Sorooh International Holding Company Suleiman Al-Wugayyan revealed that banks shares were of great interest for individuals and portfolios because of their flexibility and regular distributing of annual shares, a matter that has a positive impact on the market’s main index. Shares of banks are mostly stable and safe due to being mostly out of the reach of strong speculations affecting other shares of other sectors in the bourse, Wugayyan said, adding that banking shares were active whether owned by individuals or portfolios.

Meanwhile, head of Al-Namesh Investment Group Ali Al-Namesh saw that the shares of banks had performed greatly since the beginning of the year. He attributed that to the keen interest of foreign investors, saying that shares were on an upward trend as a result of increase in deposits and continuous distribution of shares. Shares in the market depended on the performance of companies and in the case of banks; the situation had led to good incomes after several increases in interest rates. Head of traders’ society Mohammad Al-Tarrah pointed out that the banking sector had contributed positively to the activities of the Kuwaiti and GCC markets, indicating that the auditing of the CBK and positive governance were key components of the sector’s success.

The banking sectors performance is usually high during trading, he affirmed, adding that shareholders would reap the benefits of their investments. The 10 banks listed in Boursa Kuwait had gained KD 229.4 million (around $778.2 million) in profits in the first quarter of this year, an increase by 39.4 percent from last year’s KD 186 million (around $558 million). – KUNA


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