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Kuwait Stock Exchange debuts in regions as best Day 1 pop in a year

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(Bloomberg) –

Boursa Kuwait jumped more than 10 times when it debuted on Monday, becoming the third-largest publicly traded exchange in the Middle East.

The stock exchange operator’s shares reached 1,210 fils, after being sold for 100 refills in an offer to Kuwaiti citizens last year. This is the strongest debut of any title in Europe, the Middle East and Africa in a year. They reduced the increase to 1,055 fils at the close, with the country Premier Market finishing 0.4% higher.

Trading starts were originally scheduled to take place in April and precede Kuwait’s upgrade to the group of countries classified as emerging markets by MSCI Inc. in November, a move that is expected to trigger inflows from foreign investors.

Boursa Kuwait joins Dubai Financial Market PJSC and Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Ltd. as listed regional exchanges. The sale of 50% of the company to individuals followed a sale of 44% to a consortium of domestic and international investors last year, and was the latest step in a privatization process. The remaining 6% belong to the country’s Public Social Security Institute.

While Monday marked the stock market’s debut, shares have been traded on the local OTC platform since Jan.15. The price of 100 fils per share was set by the law of the Capital Markets Authority which made the privatization of Kuwaiti stock mandatory. Exchange.

Boursa Kuwait is listed at a 40-50% discount to its peers in emerging countries, despite higher margins, returns on capital and historic earnings growth, said Gus Chehayeb, chief investment officer at Sancta Capital Group Ltd. to Dubai. Sancta Capital has been buying Boursa Kuwait shares on the over-the-counter market since January.

Note that Kuwait has a history of redistributing its wealth among its citizens by essentially offering them stakes in recently privatized, lucrative state-owned assets, Chehayeb said.

The shares outstanding and traded on the Kuwait Stock Exchange have a combined market value of around $ 91 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That compares to $ 157 billion for the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and $ 265 billion for the combined markets of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

(Updates the stock and index to the close price in the second paragraph.)

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