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Wed 5 Nov 2008 12:31 AM

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Kuwait grants two foreign banks 2-year tax holiday

Investment body also grants investment licence to Credit Suisse Group, says minister.

Kuwait has granted a two-year tax exemption to the local branches of two foreign banks, a senior official said on Tuesday.

Minister of Commerce and Industry Ahmad Baqer, also the chairman of the Higher Committee for Foreign Investment, said in a statement that the committee agreed during its recent meeting to exempt HSBC and Citibank of the fees for two years, state news agency KUNA reported, without giving further details.

The body also agreed to grant an investment licence to Credit Suisse Group (CS) to launch operations in Kuwait and adjourned taking a decision to issue two other identical licences until the next meeting, it added.

Baqer added that the participants in the meeting discussed the annual report of the Foreign Investment Bureau, pending submission to the cabinet, adding that the committee examined broad lines of the furture promotion policies for the office in terms of luring foreign investments to the country.

The committee also approved the appointment of Hilal Meshari Al-Mutairi as deputy chairman, and set up three sub-committees: a commission for promotion and information, a commission for examining investment applications and granting privileges and a commission for development and revision, KUNA added.