KUWAIT: (From left) Finance Minister Nayef Al-Hajraf, representative of the Al-Kharafi-Al- Bahar consortium Bader Al-Kharafi and CEO of Capital Markets Authority Ahmad Al-Melhem attend a press conference yesterday. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

KUWAIT: Bader Al-Kharafi, representative of the Al-Kharafi-Al-Bahar consortium that won an equity stake of 44 percent in Boursa Kuwait, said many ideas and steps need to be taken to develop the bourse. Speaking during an exclusive interview with CNBC Arabia, Kharafi said the ideas proposed include boosting tools such as derivatives, option markets, long-term trading, adding a bond market, real estate portfolio market and investment hedging along with observing transparency standards and systems that would attract international corporations. “We need to reconsider automation and connection with brokerage firms to facilitate and encourage trading,” he underlined.
Kharafi also highlighted the need to encourage family businesses to get listed, noting that it has been observed through the years that third generations in these businesses usually face some challenges in running the business. “If we manage to convince them to get listed, this will facilitate things for them as well as for future generations, and thus we will achieve an added value for the market,” he said.

Kharafi said the bourse should offer more opportunities to the youth and entrepreneurs, as some of them would want to surrender part of their equities to fund expansions. “The bourse must enable them to do this,” he said, expressing a desire to cooperate with the National Fund for Small and Medium Enterprises’ Development. He said government companies will follow in the footsteps of similar regional firms in getting listed in the bourse through privatization opportunities in fields such as post and electricity.

Responding to a question about the price of 237 fils per share offered by the consortium, Kharafi stressed that the price was set after thorough studies had been done based on the bourse’s development after being run by the private sector rather than the current situation. “We do not look forward to increasing revenues by imposing huge fees on companies, but through achieving added value for Boursa Kuwait,” he concluded.