Kuwait Is Not Taking This Sitting Down

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It was not too long ago when you could write a post-dated check to a broker in Kuwait and have it immediately credited to your account to begin trading shares in Gulf state firms. (No, we did not make that up). Not that there were many things to trade in. Becoming listed on the Kuwait Bourse required the approval of any number of obscure and financially naive authorities. This meant that any company of note was kept off the exchange to protect it from the foibles of investors. In addition, the government had a habit of pouring money into the market at the first sign of any serious crash and as a result the Kuwait exchange seemed to have a regulator enforced "price floor." Kuwait's business week ends on Thursday, so trading on Friday was non-existent. Three days of news built up meant that wild swings on Monday were common. Add all this up and Kuwait was not exactly the most reputable exchange on the planet.
So, it probably comes as little surprise to anyone with a sense of middle east exchange history that an administrative judge froze trading on the Kuwait exchange on the strength of this reasoning: Investors might lose money. The judge will be examining the system over the weekend. We'd invest immediately if the exchange wasn't closed already, as, doubtless, the judge will order an immediate 25% share price hike for Monday.
Trading halted at Kuwait bourse on court order [AFP] via Alea

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