Arab Banking Corporation (ABC) will list ts shares on the Kuwaiti stock exchange from 17 January. ABC president Abmed Abdellatif said in a statement that the move reflected the confidence of the Kuwaiti stock market and other Gulf institutions in the bank. The bank says Kuwaiti investors are already important investors in ABC and the new listing will give those shareholders greater access to bank's shares.
ABC announced plans to list on the Kuwaiti bourse in 1990, when the bank first floated its shares. However, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, which was followed by a period of consolidation in the Kuwaiti market, delayed the plans. In 1995, the Kuwaiti market was the best performing Arab bourse, reporting some record trading figures, and the bank says this offers ideal conditions to list the bank's shares.
In contrast, the Bahrain stock exchange, where the shares are now listed, was one the worst performing and quietest Arab markets in 1995. As well as the Bahrain exchange, ABC shares are also listed in Paris and shares in the bank's Amman-based subsidiary, ABC/Jordan trade on the Amman Financial Market. Investors in Oman will also be able to buy shares in ABC as the Muscat and Manama bourses move ahead with crosslisting plans.
The bank says it will consider listing in other Arab countries as opportunities arise.
The maturity of the regional markets themselves is the linchpin in all this, comments one bank official.
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