Foreigners’ Ownership in the Kuwaiti Banking Sector: December 31st 2019 – May 20th 2020

The Kuwaiti banking sector is the most important and highest liquidity among the other sectors in Boursa Kuwait. Also, this sector is where most of the traders’ investments are concentrated. The current Corona crisis has dropped the market share price of all banks and alongside the banking sector index decreasing by -24.9% between the end of last year and May 20th 2020, and foreigners’ contribution has also decreased in the Kuwaiti banking sector.

The latest information available until May 20th 2020, indicates that foreigners’ investments decreased to KD 1.328 billion compared to KD 1.752 billion between the previously mentioned periods. Foreigners’ holdings were at 9.02% of the sector’s market cap compared to 9.18% at the end of last year. The ownership focus remains on three banks with their absolute highest investment is in “National Bank of Kuwait” at KD 836.9 million, about KD 329.2 million in “Kuwait Finance House” and KD 73.7 million in “Gulf Bank”. This means that nearly 93.4% of foreign investments is concentrated in the three banks and 6.6% of those investments went to the seven other sector banks listed on “Boursa Kuwait”.

In the relative foreigners’ ownership in the banking sector, the “NBK” leads with 16.29% as of May 20th 2020, which means that their absolute and relative ownership in it is the highest. The “Gulf Bank” comes second in relative ownership by 11.91%, while it comes third in the value of that ownership. “KFH” ranks third in relative ownership by 7.21% while it comes second in absolute ownership. The largest relative decrease in foreign ownership during the period went to “Commercial Bank of Kuwait”, where their ownership percentage decreased by -66.7%, dropping from 0.30% to 0.10%. The highest relative increase in ownership was for “Al-Ahli Bank of Kuwait” by 350%, or from 0.10% to 0.45% of its value.