DUBAI, June 4 (Reuters) - Kuwait has picked accounting firm EY to do a valuation of its stock exchange, sources familiar with the batter told Reuters on Sunday.
The country has been considering an initial public offering of its stock market for years, but political infighting and entrenched bureaucracy have held up the process.
The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has asked EY to complete a valuation of Boursa Kuwait’s assets and prepare a timetable for a listing, the sources said.
The CMA declined to comment when contacted by Reuters on Sunday. EY did not immediately respond to a request to comment.
One of the sources said a committee that is awarding contract for the valuation of the exchange will meet this week.
Kuwait’s stock market is one of the oldest in the Middle East region. Established officially in the early 1980’s, it has shrunk in the past few years as dozens of companies have been delisted.
Under a law passed in 2010, the CMA is supposed to offer 50 percent of the shares to Kuwaiti citizens and 50 percent to ten companies already listed on the stock exchange.
The exchange may, however, offer up to 44 percent of its shares to a company that has experience in operating bourses when it goes public, a senior government official told Reuters in 2015.
Such a move would open the way for an international exchange operator such as Nasdaq OMX or Euronext to take a stake in one of the Middle East’s oldest stock markets.
Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh, additional reporting by Ahmed Hagagy. Editing by Jane Merriman