Kuwait allows foreign investors to own and trade local banks’ shares
Foreign investors are now allowed to own and trade in Kuwaiti banks' shares, according to a new decision issued by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
However, the decision states that the ownership of a foreign investor shall not exceed 5 per cent in any Kuwaiti bank, directly or indirectly, the official Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported.
The approval of the Central Bank of Kuwait should be obtained if ownership exceeds 5 per cent of the bank's capital, the ministry said.
The latest move comes in accordance with Decree 694, which notes that non-Kuwaiti investors shall be allowed to own and trade in Kuwaiti banks' shares, KUNA reported.
The ministry said that the Capital Markets Authority received several enquiries from international investors to lift restrictions.
The latest decision comes ahead of index-compiler MSCI's anticipated move to upgrade Kuwait to emergingmarkets status next year.