Kuwait Now Tweets

September 2017
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Business

History

During the late 1970s Kuwait’s stock exchange (the first in the Gulf) was among the top 10 in the world in terms of market cap, but years later the price of oil collapsed together with the parallel financial market, leaving hundreds of people bankrupt. The scandal left behind US$90 billion in worthless post-dated cheques and a mess that made the Kuwaiti government intervene to aid the financial sector.

 

Iran-Iraq war

In the mid 80’s tensions in the middle east and Iraq-Iran war brought further trouble to the economy as tensions with Iran scared away foreign investors from investing in the region.

Iraq invasion of Kuwait

In the 2nd of August 1990 The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait caused an unmitigated financial disaster, the cost of rebuilding the country reached over $100 Billion.

As such, it is remarkable to see how spectacularly the economy has bounced back since the turn of the 21st century.

 

Economy

With the country home to 10% of the world’s oil reserves and is among the world’s largest oil producers, oil and oil-related products naturally dominate the economy which accounts for over half of gross domestic output. Kuwait produces 3.1 million barrels of oil per day. And, with more than 100 years worth of remaining oil, the need to diversify has not been as urgent as it has been in neighboring countries.

Kuwait is vying to become a regional financial and trade center and its government has embarked on an ambitious 5-year plan to reach this goal. And while some of the required infrastructure has been built, much remains to be done as the government strives to accelerate the execution of large projects alongside GCC-wide schemes such as the 25 billion dollar GCC railway network. The need to diversify the Kuwaiti and Gulf economies away from oil has become paramount and should give rise to additional investments, both public and private; especially in areas like technology, education, and health care and alongside the older and better established sectors.

Gross Domestic Product

Kuwait’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stood at KD39.79 Billion (USD 148 Billion) in 2008, Nominal GDP rose 22% in 2008, boosted largely by the rapid increase in the prices of oil. GDP Growth has averaged 22.8% over the last five years. Real growth in GDP during 2008 is estimated at 2.3%, compared to 4.4% in 2007 and to an average of 6.5% over the last five years.

Banks

Local Banks  
 National Bank of Kuwait Kuwait International Bank 
 Gulf Bank Burgan Bank 
 Commercial Bank of Kuwait Kuwait Finance House 
 Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait Boubyan Bank 
 Ahli United Bank – Kuwait  Industrial Bank of Kuwait 

 

Foreign Banks  
Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait – Kuwait Citibank – Kuwait
BNP Paribas – Kuwait Qatar National Bank SAQ – Kuwait
HSBC Bank Middle East Limited – Kuwait Doha Bank – Kuwait
National Bank of Abu Dhabi – Kuwait Mashreq Bank – Kuwait

 

Investment Companies

There are 100 licensed investment companies in Kuwait, supervised and regulated by the Central Bank of Kuwait. The most known investment companies are:

Kuwait Investment Co. First Investment Co.
Int. Financial Advisors Co. Global Investment House
Kuwait Financial Center Co. Kipco Asset Mgmnt Co. – KAMCO
Al-Aman Investment Co. A’ayan Leasing & Invst Co.
Aref Investment Group Co. Al-Muthanna Invst. Co.
Commercial Facilities Co. Housing Finance Co.
Securities Group Co. Al-Safat Invst. Co.
The Securities House Co. Al-Manar Financing & Leasing
Kwt & ME Fin. Invst. Co – KMEFIC Al-Imtiaz Invst. Co.
Coast Invst. & Dev. Co. Watani Invst. Co. – NBK Capital
Gulf Investment Corp – GIC Noor Financial Invst. Co.
National Investment Co. Al-Masar Leasing & Invst. Co.
Wafra Int. Investment Co. Tharwa Invst. Co.
Bayan Investment Co.