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Boursa Kuwait Mohammad Saud Al-Osaimi, Chief Executive Officer

KUWAIT - Economy

Mohammad Saud Al-Osaimi

Chief Executive Officer, Boursa Kuwait


Mohammad Saud Al-Osaimi currently holds the position of CEO at Boursa Kuwait. Prior to this, he played a pivotal role in the reforms and development of the capital markets, and the successful execution of Boursa Kuwait’s mission, vision, and strategic objectives, in his capacity as the Head of Markets, helping to create new business opportunities. He joined Boursa Kuwait as a member of its first assembled Board of Directors in 2015, after spending over two decades in various senior positions in the investment field. He holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Carnegie Mellon University, USA, and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Gannon University, USA.

"Looking at the bigger picture, one of the most important events since 2018 was the reclassification of Kuwait to an “Emerging Market” by MSCI in 2019 and the inclusion of seven listed companies in the Emerging Markets indices in 2020."
TBY talks to Mohammad Saud Al-Osaimi, Chief Executive Officer of Boursa Kuwait, about developments over the past five years, the New Kuwait 2035 Vision, and ESG standards.
This is our first interview with the exchange since 2018. Looking over the years since, what have been the major developments and highlights of Boursa Kuwait’s activity? What are some of the company’s major milestones?

Looking at the bigger picture, one of the most important events since 2018 was the reclassification of Kuwait to an “Emerging Market” by MSCI in 2019 and the inclusion of seven listed companies in the Emerging Markets indices in 2020. On that day, November 30, 2020, the exchange recorded one of the biggest trading values in the market’s modern history, with almost three billion US dollars traded. The reclassification ensured that the Kuwaiti capital market achieved “Emerging Market” status in three of the world’s leading index providers, after reclassifications by FTSE Russell in 2017 and S&P Dow Jones International in 2018. Not only did we witness the development of the capital market, but Boursa Kuwait itself has also undergone some changes. The company underwent a privatization process in 2019, making Boursa Kuwait the first stock exchange in the Middle East to be fully owned by the private sector. In September 2020 Boursa Kuwait listed its shares on the “Premier Market”. In addition, Boursa Kuwait increased its stake in the Kuwait Clearing Company to 50% over the years, making the KCC a vertically integrated settlement and clearing arm of the exchange. Boursa Kuwait also launched the first phase of its third Market Development (MD) plan in 2019, which included a plethora of products and services, including Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), tender offers, stock swaps, short selling, trade at last sessions as well as enhancements on off-market trades and circuit breakers. The company subsequently launched tradeable rights issues and netting as well as margin lending and trading in collaboration with the CMA. Additionally, and as part of an overall digital transformation strategy that the company has been implementing since it took over stock market operations, Boursa Kuwait launched a brand-new website and suite of applications in 2021, available on smartphones, tablets, and watches.

What makes Boursa Kuwait so successful and highly valued across the region?

Boursa Kuwait has played a pivotal role in driving the development of Kuwait’s capital market to adopt world-class standards and practices, as well as diversifying the national economy in line with the goals of the “New Kuwait 2035” vision. We have developed a detailed blueprint to realize our strategic objectives, create long-term values for our stakeholders and ensure business sustainability through continuous efforts to create an attractive issuer base, broaden the investor base, increase the depth and breadth of our products, and upgrade our infrastructure and business environment to meet international standards. As the country’s stock exchange, Boursa Kuwait is the home to many of the region’s most highly valued and standout companies across a variety of different sectors, and, through our series of Roadshows and Corporate Days, we consistently promote them and the Kuwaiti capital market, giving listed companies the opportunity to meet with some of the world’s biggest and most well-renowned asset management firms and investment companies, highlighting their financial health, business outlook, and business strategies and giving prospective investors from all over the world a deeper understanding of the Kuwaiti capital market and the investment opportunities that reside within it.

Can you tell us about Boursa Kuwait’s efforts to raise awareness and adoption of sustainable business practices? Has the exchange helped raise awareness of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards and practices in the Kuwaiti capital market?

In our experience, Kuwait’s capital market has been one of the earliest adopters of ESG standards and practices. The field has only recently been explored, even on an international level, and we at Boursa Kuwait are cognizant of the need for listed companies to be aware of the latest trends. To that end, we have worked with some of the world’s most renowned institutions to raise awareness of the ESG standards and practices that can make our companies more attractive to international investors.
In 2021, we published an ESG Disclosure Guide to support listed companies to report on these issues and to meet the growing needs of various stakeholders for transparent and regular information. We also published our first-ever standalone Sustainability Report, which details Boursa Kuwait’s Corporate Sustainability strategy, partnerships, and initiatives for 2021.
Additionally, the exchange has worked closely with the CMA to implement its resolution for the requisites of sustainable finance, helping make the Kuwaiti capital market more sustainable according to the best standards and practices described by the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and in support of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. We have also collaborated with our counterparts across the GCC to draft a unified set of ESG metrics, which marks an important step towards standardizing ESG disclosure across the GCC region’s capital markets, serving as an optional guide for companies wishing to disclose ESG-related performance.

As my final question, I would like to explore the priorities and expectations of Boursa Kuwait for the future. Could you share some of these with us?

As we look forward to 2023 and beyond, we remain steadfast in our commitment to our mission and vision, introducing products and services to further improve and enhance our market and our company. In 2023, we hope to introduce the CCP cash mechanism, which will mitigate risk and enable brokers and market participants to offer their clients more diverse offerings. This will be followed by a fixed-income platform for corporate bonds and sukuk, as well as regulations for exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which helps us diversify the products and asset classes offered, through which the investor can undoubtedly find a wealth of options and opportunities in our market. With the conclusion of the previously mentioned products, we are aiming to launch a derivatives CCP to clear standardized futures and options.



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