Boursa Kuwait has announced it will list its shares on the Premier Market. It follows approval from the country’s Capital Markets Authority. They will start trading on 14 September under the BOURSA ticker symbol and will be classified under the Financial Services category. They will be the 174th company on the Exchange and will be the 20th listed company on the Premier Market. Its initial paid-up capital will be approximately 20.1 million Dinars which will be divided into approximately 201 million shares. Around 50% of the company’s shares, or what amounts to around 100 million shares have been offered to Kuwaiti citizens in an initial public offering process which concluded in December 2019 and was oversubscribed by 850%.
Kuwait’s Health Ministry has announced they have approved regulations for performing obesity operations in the Government and private sectors. The patient must be between 18 and 50, with a BMI of 50 or less and classified under the third category or less. This is according to the American Anaesthesia Association classification.
According to local newspaper reports in Kuwait, the numbers of employees cannot be increased when the country’s curfew is partially lifted on 30 August. Only those who are already working in Ministry and Government agency premises will be allowed to carry on working there. Everyone else should carry on working remotely.
Kuwait’s National Assembly has approved a bankruptcy law which will help troubled companies, give them legal protections and provide them with various options before they declare bankruptcy. It specifies two main ways out of trouble for a defaulting company or merchant. The first is a preventive settlement with the agreement of the creditor and debtor. The second is the creation of a plan for restructuring before declaring bankruptcy and even where bankruptcy is declared, only the corrupt bankrupt will be punished. Under the existing law, which is 40 years old, stopping the payment of debt means declaring bankruptcy, which leads to the bankrupt party being jailed, having a travel ban imposed on them and being stripped of their political rights.
The Kuwaiti Government has referred a draft bankruptcy law to Parliament to consider. The aim is to improve the business environment in the country, address bankruptcy cases and preserve commercial companies. It also aims to maximise the returns of creditors, collect as much money for them as possible and create a legal system which attracts local and foreign investment. In addition, it aims to keep commercial companies operating and provide systems and mechanisms to enable this. This includes allowing preventive settlement and restructuring and protecting the owners of small and medium enterprises; by reducing the periods stipulated by the law. Finally, it will abolish the role of expert management in the bankruptcy process and replace it with a bankruptcy committee. Those on the committee will have financial expertise and be responsible for supervising the procedures for restructuring, bankruptcy and reconciliation regarding debts.
Kuwait’s Commerce and Industry Ministry is considering issuing e-trade licenses. The license would allow those who have it to sell or promote products or auction watches, jewellery, gems or cars, among other things online. The e-trade license would be similar to normal licenses. They will be able to be issued to one person and they do not need to have a premises. The aim is to tackle money laundering online.
The Health and Social Affairs Committee of Kuwait’s Parliament has approved the draft labour law to address the effects of Coronavirus. It came into force on 12 March 2020. The Committee’s Chairman said those affected by the anti-Coronavirus measures including those who had to completely or partially stop their business can agree with employees to reduce their salaries throughout the suspension period up to 50% of the salary. This will not affect the minimum limit for salaries. He also explained the Government will be responsible for paying the difference in the salary between what the employer is able to pay and the actual salary of the Kuwaiti employee. The aim is to ensure nationals are paid their full salaries. He said for example if a Kuwaiti employee’s salary is 1000 Dinars and their salary was reduced to 500 Dinars, the State will pay the other 500 Dinars so they get a full salary. The law allows employers to give their employees special leave with a reduced salary provided the minimum limit of the salary is at least 30% during the suspension period. Employers are expected to notify the Labour Ministry regarding the agreements concluded with the employees with the terms set by the Ministerial Decision.
According to local newspaper reports, Kuwait’s Interior Minister has approved draft residency law amendments. The aim is to reduce the numbers of non-Kuwaitis employed in the country. The focus will be on skilled migrants rather than manual workers. There will also be limits on the number of foreign nationals recruited by companies each year and regulations based on their skills will be included. The legislation will be ready by October. It is part of efforts to reduce the numbers of expatriates in the country from 70 to 30%.
Sources have confirmed Kuwait’s General Authority for Manpower is working on a number of decisions and reviewing old decisions related to regulating the labour market to increase the employment of nationals in the private sector. The sources said this will be achieved by replacing expatriate employees with national employees in many roles. The Authority is also working on setting a workflow for recruitment of foreign employees by increasing the restrictions. The Decisions have been sent to the board to review and approve.
Kuwait is considering a draft bill to amend the labour law in the civil sector in order to allow companies which have been impacted by COVID-19 to agree with their employees to reduce their salaries during the crisis. The government has referred the draft bill to the parliamentary financial committee which is looking at remedying the impact of the coronavirus on the labour market.