Exchange Operator Boursa Kuwait Surges Tenfold in Trading Debut

Boursa Kuwait surged tenfold on its trading debut on Monday as it became only the third publicly listed exchange in the Middle East.

Shares in the bourse operator rose as much as 1,100% shortly after the open. The stock traded as high as 1,210 fils, after being sold at 100 fills in an offering last year. The country’s Premier Market index was up 0.4%.

The trading debut was initially expected to take place in April and comes ahead of Kuwait’s upgrade to the group of countries classified as emerging market by MSCI Inc. in November, a move expected to trigger inflows from foreign investors.

Boursa Kuwait joins Dubai Financial Market PJSC and Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Ltd. as the third publicly traded stock exchange in the Middle East. The IPO of 50% of the bourse to local citizens followed a 44% sale to a consortium of domestic and international investors. Prior to the public listing, Boursa Kuwait shares have been allowed to trade on the over-the-counter platform since Jan. 15.

Kuwait’s exchange has a market capitalization of about $91 billion, according to Bloomberg Data. That compares to $157 billion for the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and $265 billion for the combined markets of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

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