100 most powerful Arab women 2013
Maha Al Ghunaim
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Maha Al Ghunaim

Industry: Banking and finance

Company: Global Investment House

Designation: Chairperson

Country: Kuwait

Occupation: Chairperson

Maha Al Ghunaim is something of a celebrity in the Arab world of banking and finance.

She founded Global Investment House, one of the region’s largest investment companies, in 1998. When she took the firm public on the London Stock Exchange in 2008, it became the first Kuwaiti company to the list on the exchange. The firm was also listed on the Kuwait, Dubai and Bahrain bourses. The onset of the global financial crisis has meant the last few years have been tough for Al Ghunaim. The firm has been hit hard by turbulence in regional markets and in January announced it would delist from the country’s stock exchange on June 19, more than a year after the group’s shares were suspended from trading.

Al Ghunaim also sits on the boards of Kuwait University, National Industries Group, and the Qatar Endowment Fund at the Qatar Foundation.