Boursa Kuwait is “confident” that MSCI will upgrade it to emerging market status in 2019, according to CEO Khaled Abdulrazzaq Al Khaled.
Speaking to Bloomberg TV, Al Khaled said that Boursa Kuwait is “halfway there” with regards to a “very big overhaul” of Kuwait’s equities market, which have so far included changes to the settlement cycle, the introduction of market segmentation and changes to listing requirements.
“We have implemented halfway and there and are continuing until we are done in 2021,” he said. “We are going to introduce soon short-sell SLB [stock lending and borrowing] and REITs [real estate investment trusts].
The changes have so far resulted in a “big inflow” of foreign investment into Kuwait, which Al Khaled said pre-dates the announcement of Kuwait’s promotion to Boursa Kuwait by FTSE to emerging market from a frontier market.
“The appetite of foreign investors was earlier than [the] FTSE inclusion,” he said. “For it to resonate in the local market it needs time. It is a new introduction with big changes.”
Regarding the MSCI upgrade, Al Khaled said he offers no guarantees, but is confident in the strategy.
“These changes will push for an MSCI inclusion,” he said. “I am very optimistic.”For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.