Kuwait’s Commerce and Industry Ministry has issued a Decision which includes a regulation for organising professional law firms. The Trade and Industry Ministry said it was drafted and approved together with the Kuwaiti Lawyers Association. It specifies the form of professional law firms. They can be a solidarity, a closed shareholding or a simple recommendation, or with limited liability. It also specifies the conditions for incorporation. The capital of the professional law firm, whatever form it takes, may not be less than 10,000 Kuwaiti Dinars. Under the new regulations, professional law firms cannot practice unless it is through a licensed partners or shareholder. However, a professional law firm may seek the assistance of licensed lawyers who are registered in the list of practicing lawyers, provided they are subject to the supervision and responsibility of the firm.
Kuwait’s National Assembly has approved the country’s draft Demographic Imbalance Law. If approved, it will allow the Government to specify the maximum numbers of expatriates in the country. They will have to submit regular demographic imbalance reports to the Assembly. Exemptions for the children and husbands of Kuwaiti women married to foreigners and other GCC citizens have been removed. The penalty provisions in the Law have also been removed as there are stricter penalties in other legislation like the Foreigners Law. It has been referred to the Government to consider further.
Kuwait’s Education Ministry has announced non-Kuwaiti employees cannot transfer their residency permit to the civil sector. There are four exemptions to this. The list of exemptions has been sent by the Ministry to the country’s Manpower Authority. Husbands and children of female Kuwaiti nationals, individuals born in Kuwait, Palestinians who have documents or technical professionals working in the health sector in establishments licensed to operate health services are exempted.
Kuwait’s National Assembly has approved a draft law to support and enable local banks to support customers adversely affected by the repercussions of Coronavirus financially. The aim is to reduce the risks of indirect effects as a result of the interlocking of economic sectors. The explanatory note to the draft law mentions incentives will be offered to banks to provide the necessary financing to affected individuals and companies to prevent their temporary lack of liquidity from becoming a prolonged problem.
Kuwait’s National Assembly has approved the draft bankruptcy law. It is aimed at reorganising the legal framework for bankruptcy provisions and the rules for debt restructuring. The first chapter dealt with definitions of all the terms contained in the law and the second chapter singles out the general provisions explaining the scope of its application It also contains provisions governing requests for preventive settlement, restructuring, or bankruptcy for debts owed to Government companies, insurance and companies regulated by the Capital Markets Authority. There are also provisions on requests for preventive settlement, restructuring and bankruptcy, as well as how the mechanisms for appointing the trustee, the controller and the inspector will be regulated and the duties and powers of each of them in the event the bankruptcy judge accepts the opening of the restructuring procedures or the declaration of bankruptcy in addition to organising frames and announcements related to the claims, requests and appeals through an electronic data room.
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.