KUWAIT: Various economic indices showed that Kuwait is in the safe zone with regards to repercussions of the new coronavirus on the economic sector, amid recurrent bonds’ issuance by the Central Bank of Kuwait in the year 2020.
Following are some of the key economic news highlights at the economic and financial levels in 2020:
Jan 5: Boursa Kuwait- the stock exchange – said that liquidity of trades in the first session of the year reached KD 71.4 million ($235.6 million).
Jan 15: The Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) joined the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), becoming the 63rd member of the Switzerland-based institute.
Jan 22: Central Statistical Bureau said that inflation in Kuwait reached 1.5 percent in 2019 when compared to 2018.
Feb 10: The Arab-British Chamber of Commerce (ABCC) chose Chairman of the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Ali Al-Ghanim as an honorary head.
March 8: The Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) announced the formation of a banks-backed KD 10-million financial fund to help the government’s fight against COVID-19.
March 11: Kuwait’s banks’ union suspended work at banks nationwide, allowing one branch for each bank to operate throughout Kuwait. The measure was taken to curb the coronavirus spread.
March 12: Boursa Kuwait-the stock market – halted operations as part of the nationwide coronavirus countermeasures.
March 24: Kuwait’s bank union announced that local banks would suspend the collection of loans for citizens and small to medium size enterprises due to coronavirus.
March 27: Standard and Poor’s (S&P) lower the credit rating for Kuwait from (AA) to (AA-), but the outlook remained stable.
March 30: Moody’s maintained a credit rating of Kuwait at (Aa2).
April 2: The Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) took a package of oversight measures warranted by repercussions of the novel coronavirus; decreasing solvency requirements by 2.5 percent, liquidity criteria, forecast risks for small and medium enterprises from 75 percent to 25 percent and hiking maximum funding from 90 to 100 percent.
April 6: Kuwait Chamber of Industry and Commerce Board elected without contestation Mohammad Jassem Al-Sagr as chairman.
April 7: Fitch Rating maintains Kuwait’s sovereign credit rating for 2020 at AA, portraying the state steady and solid credit status.
April 7: Central Statistical Bureau said that inflation reached its lowest rate by 1.67 percent per month in the first 10 months ending last February of 2020.
April 20: The Central Bank of Kuwait issued conventional bonds and tawarruq bonds worth KD 240 million.
May 30: The Ministry of Commerce added 14 food items to the list of subsidized commodities.
July 12: Minister of Finance Barrak Al-Sheetan ordered delay of collecting due installments of clients of the Defaulters and Family Support Fund.
July 13: The Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) declared issuing bonds and tawarruq bonds, worth KD 240 million ($792 million), for three months with a projected proceed of 1,250 percent.
July 26: Boursa Kuwait-the stock exchange-said that liquidity registered its lowest rate, hitting KD 9.9 million ($34.6 million). This was attributed to natural profit gaining operations.
July 29: Kuwait Ports Authority declared reaping KD 50.1 million ($161 million) for the 2019-2029 fiscal year.
Aug 13: The finance ministry declared a KD 5.6 billion deficit ($18.4 billion) actual deficit in the fiscal year that ended on March 31, with a 68 percent rise on annual basis and lower by 31.8 percent of the budget projected deficit.
Aug 22: The Governor of the Central Bank declared that the gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.4 percent in 2019 reaching KD 39.4 billion ($130 billion), against KD 39.2 billion ($129.3 billion) in 2018.
Sept 3: Kuwait General Administration of Customs (KGAC) declared posting KD 363.44 million ($1.1 billion) in the 2019-2020 fiscal year.
Sept 7: Governor of the Central Bank Mohammad Al-Hashel declared cutting the discount rate three times, dropping to the record level of 1.5 percent for the fiscal year (2019-2020).
Sept 12: Kuwait Credit Bank declared reaping net profits worth KD 72.5 million ($239 million) in the fiscal year (2019-2020), increasing by KD 12.9 million ($42.5 million for the abovementioned financial year.
Sept 14: The central bank declared issuing bonds and tawarruq bonds worth KD 290 million ($957 million) for three months with a 1,250 percent proceed.
Sept 21: The central bank issued bonds and tawarruq bonds valued at KD 200 million ($660 million) for three months with a 1,250 percent proceed.
Sept 28: The central bank issued bonds and tawarruq bonds valued KD 240 million ($792 million) for six months with 1.375 percent returns.
Oct. 26: The Central Bank of Kuwait declared issuance of bonds and tawarruq bonds worth KD 200 million ($660 million). Nov 2: The CBK issued bonds and tawarruq bonds worth KD 240 million ($792 million).
Nov 4: Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA) disclosed in a report luring, during the fiscal year (2019-2020), KD 115.8 million ($378 million) worth of direct investments.
Nov 9: The Central Bank of Kuwait issued bonds and tawarruq bonds worth KD 160 million ($528 million).Nov 16: The CBK issued bonds and tawarruq bonds worth KD 240 million ($792 million).
Nov 30: Kuwait bourse witnessed unprecedented trades valued at KD 961 million ($3.3 billion) in the first day of trading in stocks of seven companies listed in the bourse premier market in the MSCI indices for emerging markets.
Nov 30: The CBK issued bonds and tawarruq bonds worth KD 360 million ($1.1 billion).
Dec 1: The Kuwait stock exchange (Boursa Kuwait) announced the highest liquidity figure for this year at KD 961.6 million ($3.3 billion), attributing the number to promotion of the bourse to the MSCI index for emerging markets.
Dec 2: The Ministry of Commerce said in a statement that it had worked hard to improve business atmosphere in Kuwait, leading to the country to become one of the world’s top 10 improvers amongst 190 economies in the World Bank Group’s Doing Business 2020 study. Kuwait’s ranking in the Ease of Doing Business jumped from 97 in 2019 to 83 in 2020, the study concludes.
Dec 7: Central Statistical Bureau announced the highest inflation rate of 2.25 percent in the first ten months of the year ending last October.
Dec 7: The Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) announced the issuing of bonds worth KD 280 million ($942 million).
Dec 14: CBK announced the issuing of bonds worth KD 290 million (around $957 million). – KUNA