KUWAIT: In a ceremony attended by Minister of Commerce and Industry Fahad Mutlaq Al-Shuraian, the company’s board of directors, executive management and employees, as well as several distinguished personalities from the Kuwaiti financial scene, Boursa Kuwait reopened several of its renovated facilities, including its trading hall. The renovated trading hall is now equipped with the latest, state-of-the-art technologies, as well as an opening/closing bell podium and a media center. Trading screens across the building have also been replaced with updated, more advanced ones, as well as the auditorium, training hall and many of the building’s facilities, as part of the company’s efforts to maintain and upgrade facilities and utilities.
Previously, the company’s board of directors approved the request submitted by board members Bader Nasser Al-Kharafi and Talal Jassim Al-Bahar to donate the building’s renovation costs. The board also approved renaming the hall after the late Nasser Al-Kharafi/Jassim Al-Bahar, as two of the most prominent and distinguished economic figures, who have left a clear imprint in business, and whose financial expertise and savvy led their expansion from a local and regional levels to an international level.
Commenting during the reopening ceremony of the Nasser Al-Kharafi/Jassim Al-Bahar Trading Hall, Minister of Commerce and Industry Fahd Mutlaq Al-Shuraian said: “Today, we stand in this historic trading hall, marking yet another milestone in the journey of this stock exchange. We take pride in the decision made to name this hall after the late Nasser Al-Kharafi and Jassim Al-Bahar, two titans of the financial scene in the country whose legacy continues to live on in their sons who are both Boursa Kuwait board members. I would like to extend my deepest thanks and gratitude to Mr Bader Nasser Al-Kharafi and Mr Talal Jassim Al-Bahar for their generous donation to the trading hall and contribution to the Kuwaiti capital market.” The minister added that the new trading hall, which is equipped with the latest, state-of-the-art technologies that meet international accreditations and standards, will undoubtedly reflect positively on the performance of the capital market and further attract investors to it.
Board member Bader Nasser Al-Kharafi expressed his pride on the reopening of the trading hall and its new name, saying: “Boursa Kuwait has witnessed many developments and enhancements since the start of its privatization process, becoming an outstanding example of the competence of the Kuwaiti youth and their ability to develop a strong and efficient financial market with liquidity and transparency. This has undoubtedly made the Kuwaiti capital market an attractive destination for investors worldwide and has led to the inclusion of Kuwaiti listed companies in internationally renowned index providers.”
Al-Kharafi added, “Boursa Kuwait’s iconic trading hall distinguishes it from its counterparts across the region as well as worldwide. Accordingly, the board of directors has approved plans to develop the building’s facilities according to internationally accredited specifications to reflect the unique identity of our stock exchange, the oldest stock exchange in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). I would like to thank the board of directors and executive management for choosing this name for the trading hall.”
Board member Talal Jassim Al-Bahar expressed his excitement on the occasion and said: “I would like to extend my sincere thanks to my fellow board members for choosing to name the hall after the late Nasser Al-Kharafi and Jassim Al-Bahar. The reopening of the trading hall comes as part of Boursa Kuwait’s efforts to upgrade and improve its facilities, exploring innovative solutions that meet market needs and expectations, in an effort to attract investors. The company continues its successes as a booming market moving at an accelerated pace towards the sustainability of the company, the Kuwaiti capital market and the national economy. We look forward to providing a qualitative experience for all Boursa participants, as well as local and foreign companies that wish to list.”
Boursa Kuwait Chairman Hamad Meshari Al-Humaidhi also expressed his thanks and appreciation to Bader Al-Kharafi and Talal Al-Bahar, saying: “We are pleased to reopen the trading hall thanks to the generous donation of my fellow board members Mr Bader Al-Kharafi and Mr Talal Al-Bahar to renovate and update the facilities. We will continue to develop the rest of the premises to contribute to the company’s sustainable operations, as well as taking confident steps towards achieving the company’s vision and strategic goals to develop a credible and liquid financial market in accordance with international standards that creates opportunities for issuers and investors to create diversified opportunities.”
The old trading screens and tickers have been removed from the trading floor and other locations inside the building and on its facades, replaced with new energy-efficient full color LED video walls and ticker displays with the latest technologies, providing greater possibilities for broadcasting content and reducing energy consumption by more than 50 percent. Boursa Kuwait has also began working with a specialized organization to manage the recycling of old equipment of over one thousand devices. The project also includes an upgrade to various utilities across the premises, such as the elevators, the escalators, and the heating ventilation and air condition systems (HVAC) and air diffusers. This upgrade will reduce energy consumption by more than 20 percent, reinforcing the company’s position as a socially responsible institution.
The Boursa Kuwait revamp also features a designated “Ring the Bell” platform, with a mechanical brass bell that has been manufactured specifically for the exchange and engraved with patterns inspired by the Kuwaiti Sadu traditional weaving. The platform is dedicated to corporate social responsibility (CSR) events to raise awareness on environmental and social causes in addition to listing events and other corporate proceedings. Overlooking the bell-ringing platform is a fully equipped media hall to cover CSR and media related events such as press conferences and televised interviews.
The auditorium and training hall are also undergoing renovations and will be equipped with the latest audio and video technology to host myriad training seminars and financial literacy programs, in collaboration with specialized local and international companies. This is in line with Boursa Kuwait’s commitment to raising financial literacy and increasing capital market awareness in Kuwait as part of the education pillar of its corporate sustainability strategy and corresponds with goal 4 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals of achieving inclusive and quality education for all.
Boursa Kuwait’s corporate sustainability strategy stipulates ensuring initiatives apply and fall in line with the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR), industry best practice standards and investor expectations, creating strong and sustainable partnerships that ultimately achieve success and allow Boursa Kuwait to leverage the capabilities and strengths of other companies or organizations that have experience in different fields, and integrating sustainability efforts with the company culture, in order to achieve longevity and an ongoing impact that is carried on and instilled in the day-to-day operations of the stock exchange. As part of the strategy, Boursa Kuwait has launched many initiatives in partnership with local and international organizations, focusing on support for nongovernmental organizations and charity programs, financial literacy and capital market awareness, the empowerment of women, as well as environmental protection.