• March 9, 2021

    Kuwaiti banks – Earnings report 2020

    All major Kuwaiti banks reported their financial results for the fourth quarter of 2020 and that of the whole year. As expected, all the banks reported a reduction in net profits for 2020 compared to that of 2019 mainly due to the increase in provisions and impairment charges for bad loans caused by COVID-19’s disruption to the economy. Exhibit 1: Earnings scorecard - Kuwaiti banks Source: Boursa Kuwait, Refinitiv, Corporate Disclosures Kuwaiti Banks continue to clean up their balance sheets...

  • February 9, 2021

    Central Bank of Kuwait Allows Banks to Distribute 2020 Dividends

    Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) has been at the forefront and took various measures to limit the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on Kuwait economy and the banking sector. Some of the key measures taken by the central bank include reduction in discount rate to a historically low level of 1.50% from 2.75% and maximization of lending capacity of banks to provide financing by allowing use of capital conservation buffers (2.5% of capital) for capital adequacy ratio. In 2020, some countries...

  • December 7, 2020

    MSCI includes Kuwait stocks in their Emerging Markets indices

    Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI), the world’s largest index provider, reclassified Kuwait to ‘Emerging Markets’ status from ‘Frontier Markets’. The inclusion to the Emerging Market Index took place on Nov. 30, 2020 after market close, while the deletion of Kuwaiti securities from the Frontier Markets 100 index will be phased over five successive index reviews. The implementation was originally slated to take place in May 2020 but was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Seven Kuwaiti Stocks have been added...

  • November 8, 2020

    Steep cut in project spending could depress Kuwait’s oil output

    Oil majors around the world are scaling back their investment plans on the back of drastic fall in oil prices driven by lockdowns to curb COVID-19 and the current stagnation in prices. Kuwait had also announced plans to slash capital spending in its oil sector by around KD 700million from KD 3.7billion (USD 12.2billion) to KD 3billion (USD 9.9billion) during the 2020-2021 fiscal year due to a sharp rise in the country's budget deficits. State operator, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC)...

  • October 14, 2020

    COVID-19 derails traditional Kuwait retailers

    Kuwait’s retail sector is small in absolute terms when compared to regional peers like the UAE or Saudi Arabia. However, Kuwait has one of the highest concentrations of international retailers in the GCC, with luxury segment proving to be a major draw. The value of Kuwait’s retail market was KD 3.5bn or 9.1% of non-oil GDP, as of February 2018 (Oxford Business Group). Consumer preference towards international brands and better retail shopping experiences were exhibiting an upward trend until COVID-19...

  • October 8, 2020

    Boursa Kuwait’s stock surges on its trading debut – Has privatization been a success?

    Boursa Kuwait Securities Company has surged more than 10 times since it debuted on the Kuwait Premier Market index on September 14th when it became only the third stock exchange in the MENA region to be listed after the Dubai Financial Market and Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Share prices rose as high as 1,210 fils and closed the day at 1,055 fils after being priced at 100 fils during the IPO last year. As part of the IPO, 50% of...

  • August 13, 2019

    Kuwait Retail Sector Positioned for Significant Growth

    Kuwait’s retail sector is small in absolute terms when compared to regional peers like the UAE or Saudi Arabia. However, Kuwait has one of the highest concentrations of international retailers in the GCC, with luxury segment proving to be a major draw. The value of Kuwait’s retail market was KD 3.5bn or 9.1% of non-oil GDP, as of February 2018 (Oxford Business Group). These figures are expected to grow even further as consumers have shown an increased preference for international...

  • May 7, 2019

    Kuwait Blue Chip Companies – Banks Outperform on Regulatory Reforms

    Kuwait Blue Chip Companies – Banks Outperform on Regulatory Reforms. Kuwait’s GDP growth returned to positive territory in 2018, with higher input from its non-oil sectors, increased government investment to boost growth and improvement in the oil prices. Reforms to the capital markets and banking sectors attracted further inflows into the economy. The year 2018 has been an eventful one for Kuwait capital markets with the opening up of the banking industry being the latest in a series of measures...

  • January 24, 2019

    Oil Price may not be the trigger for reforms

    This article was originally published in Al Qabas Analyzing the historical trend of reforms in Kuwait, one can notice that financial services sector is the most regulated and therefore have experienced more reforms while sectors like healthcare and legal saw the least number of reforms. For a balanced and sustained economic growth, an even distribution of reforms across all critical sectors is a must. A popular coffee table discussion in Kuwait is to ask “when will serious reforms come to...

  • May 7, 2018

    The Impact of VAT on Key Kuwaiti Sectors

    This article was originally published in Kuwait Times. Decrease in oil prices have led the member countries of GCC in search for alternative means of revenue. One way was to introduce a common tax called Value Added Tax (VAT) in the region. On July 09, 2017 two members of GCC, Saudi Arabia and UAE ratified the VAT framework agreement for the introduction of VAT in the region. With a tax rate of 5%, it will be applicable in the entire...