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Kuwait to pump $5.4 bln into stocks

Kuwait’s sovereign wealth fund will begin investing at least 1.5 billion Kuwaiti dinars ($5.4 billion) in Kuwaiti equities this month to boost confidence in the exchange, the country’s finance minister said on Thursday.  

Kuwait is seeking to reassure investors in the Gulf Arab country, where a fall of about 30% in the exchange’s main index this year has ignited protests among traders. “The fund will be about KWD 1.5 billion and it could be extended,” Finance Minister Mustapha Al Shamali told reporters at a meeting in Cairo.

He said it would begin investing after next week’s Eid Al Adha holiday and would target specific companies, which he declined to name. “The fund will not invest across the board,” he said. “It will invest only in companies that have good returns because we are spending the people’s money.”

Last month Kuwait’s cabinet asked the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), its investment arm, to set up a fund to invest in the bourse. The KIA is a major shareholder in many Kuwaiti companies including telecom operator Mobile Telecommunications Co. (Reuters)