ATHEX Joins Consortium to Privatize Boursa Kuwait

athexThe privatization process of Boursa Kuwait, organized by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) of Kuwait, will now count with the Athens Stock Exchange as a key participant. The Greek exchange will form a consortium with qualified local companies and provide technical, operational and business services to proceed to the final bidding process.

The Consortium currently comprises of Athens Stock Exchange (ATHEX), as the qualified international operator, and a number of financial groups in Kuwait, namely Arzan Financial Group (ARZAN), First Investment Company (FIC) and National Investments Company (NIC) which were awarded a place in the closed bidding process organized by the CMA, for a 44% equity stake in Boursa Kuwait. Boursa Kuwait is the only market operator and one of the leading stock exchanges in the Gulf area. The Consortium offered 0.237 Kuwaiti dinar (€0.69) per share for the 44% equity stake purchase. 50% will be sold to the public through an IPO process, and the remaining 6% will continue to be owned by the Public Institution For Social Security (PIFSS).

ATHEX’s participation in Boursa Kuwait’s equity stake is ca. 0.8%, which amounts to an investment of approximately €1 million. The involvement of the Greek exchange is part of its strategy to leverage its trading and post-trading technical and business know-how.

The exchange has successfully run the Common Platform concept with Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) since 2006, provides systems and services to the Hellenic National Natural Gas System Operator (DESFA), and supports solutions for third parties in the financial industry.

Socrates Lazaridis, Chief Executive Officer at ATHEX, commented:

“ATHEX as a market operator and as a listed entity has the necessary experience and with the cooperation of its partners plans to have an active involvement in Boursa Kuwait as a technical and operations solution provider and business development consultant. The goal is to enhance Boursa Kuwait’s profile in the region and produce additional value through the close strategic cooperation of the two market operators in the future”.

Bader Al-Kharafi, representative of the Consortium, said:

“This groundbreaking investment will prove a milestone in the development and growth of Boursa. The recent overhaul of the Boursa and its inclusion as an emerging market on several important international indices, including FTSE and MSCI shows that Kuwait’s stock exchange is an attractive destination for local and international investors”.

The Consortium will now cooperate with the CMA and Boursa Kuwait towards the implementation of the common strategic endeavors as it intends to support the expansion and development of the exchange through the introduction of a number of new products, services, and systems that will support the flow of capital from investors, both local and international.