Following its application and qualification as an International Operator with regard to the privatization process of Boursa Kuwait, organised by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) of Kuwait, Athens Stock Exchange decided to participate as a technical, operational and business services provider for Boursa Kuwait by forming a consortium with the largest possible participation from the qualified Local Companies to proceed to the final bidding process.
On February 14th 2019, the Consortium comprising of Athens Stock Exchange (ATHEX), as the qualified international operator and a wide group of leading listed, financial groups in Kuwait, namely Arzan Financial Group (ARZAN), First Investment Company (FIC) and National Investments Company (NIC), have been awarded the bid, by way of a closed bidding process organised by the CMA, for a 44% equity stake in Boursa Kuwait, 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 stake purchase. A 6% stake is owned by the Public Institution For Social Security (PIFSS), while the remaining 50% will be sold to the public through an IPO process. The resulting ATHEX’s participation in Boursa Kuwait’s equity stake is ca. 0.8%, amounting to an investment of approximately €1 million.
The active involvement of ATHEX in Boursa Kuwait is part of the Group’s strategy to leverage its trading and post-trading technical and business know-how and systems in running successfully the Common Platform concept, with Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) since 2006, in providing systems and services to the Hellenic National Natural Gas System Operator (DESFA), in designing and supporting solutions for third parties in the financial industry and setting up to provide systems and services to the Hellenic Energy Exchange (ENEX).
AXIA Ventures Group Limited acted as exclusive financial advisor to ATHEX in the transaction, while Al Tamimi & Company acted as the legal advisor.
As a next step, ATHEX along with its Consortium partners will closely cooperate with the CMA and Boursa Kuwait towards the implementation of the common strategic endeavours. The Consortium intends to support the expansion and development of Boursa Kuwait 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, to issuers listed in Boursa Kuwait.
Socrates Lazaridis, ATHEX CEO, said “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, the Consortium’s representative, 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”.