TBY interviews Commercial Bank chairman and CEO

The Business Year team with Sheikh Ahmad Duaij Al-Sabah and Elham Mahfouz

KUWAIT: The Business Year (TBY), a global media group providing business and economic information on national economies through the eyes of the country’s decision-makers, had the pleasure to meet with Sheikh Ahmad Duaij Al-Sabah, Chairman of Commercial Bank of Kuwait – Al-Tijari (CBK), as part of its upcoming edition on the country, The Business Year: Kuwait 2019, produced in partnership with Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA) and the German Business Council Kuwait (GBCK). Commercial Bank CEO Elham Mahfouz was also present during the interview.

“In light of this year’s focus, we thought it would be highly relevant to feature Sheikh Ahmad Al-Sabah’s comments regarding CBK’s experience with the tendering process of Boursa Kuwait,” said Kevin Delaplace Haro, TBY’s Country Editor for Kuwait. “We are very excited to welcome Sheikh Ahmad at our event in London. As one of the speakers, we are looking forward to listening to his analysis on Kuwait’s privatization process,” added Ioana Popa, TBY’s Country Director for Kuwait.

Al-Tijari Bank was one of the two qualified bidders in regard to the Kuwait Stock Exchange’s (KSE) privatization. The initiative was “strongly supported by several governmental entities” and is marking a real “push for privatization,” stated Sheikh Ahmad Al Sabah. “With the privatization of Boursa Kuwait, banks and the entire private sector will feel the benefits of having a much more efficient and leaner stock exchange,” he added. In addition, the Chairman of Al-Tijari Bank highlighted that “many large Kuwaiti companies are still not listed on the stock exchange” and emphasized that the privatization of Boursa Kuwait will “incentivize more companies, including SMEs, to be listed, therefore opening the doors to new sources of financing.”

PPP projects
Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects were also discussed at length during the interview. “The government has to be the key player in saying what services could possibility be shifted to PPPs while ensuring the enforceability of the legal framework. The private sector, on the other hand, has to show its willingness and competence in managing PPP projects since the government does not want the quality of the services to falter. PPPs would take a lot of weight off the government in terms of costs and resources, reducing the public deficit. However, stability and transparency will be key for PPPs to succeed,” added Sheikh Ahmad.

The Business Year: Kuwait 2019 will feature views and insights from more than 100 senior executives and government officials across all sectors, obtained through face-to-face interviews in the country. The publication will also feature sector reviews, analyses, focus articles, and contributions from foreign guest speakers. It will be launched on June 17th at The Dorchester in London and will be widely distributed locally and internationally at major economic forums, investment forums, and conferences.