Kuwait picks EY to value stock exchange for potential listing-sources – Reuters

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Kuwait has picked accounting firm
EY to do a valuation of its stock exchange, sources familiar
with the batter told Reuters on Sunday.

The country has been considering an initial public offering
of its stock market for years, but political infighting and
entrenched bureaucracy have held up the process.

The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has asked EY to complete
a valuation of Boursa Kuwait’s assets and prepare a timetable
for a listing, the sources said.

The CMA declined to comment when contacted by Reuters on
Sunday. EY did not immediately respond to a request to comment.

One of the sources said a committee that is awarding
contract for the valuation of the exchange will meet this week.

Kuwait’s stock market is one of the oldest in the Middle
East region. Established officially in the early 1980’s, it has
shrunk in the past few years as dozens of companies have been
delisted.

Under a law passed in 2010, the CMA is supposed to offer 50
percent of the shares to Kuwaiti citizens and 50 percent to ten
companies already listed on the stock exchange.

The exchange may, however, offer up to 44 percent of its
shares to a company that has experience in operating bourses
when it goes public, a senior government official told Reuters
in 2015.

Such a move would open the way for an international exchange
operator such as Nasdaq OMX or Euronext to
take a stake in one of the Middle East’s oldest stock markets.

(Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh, additional reporting by Ahmed
Hagagy. Editing by Jane Merriman)