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French Version

No intervention in Kuwait bourse

The Kuwaiti government was urged by businessmen and analysts Saturday not to intervene in the movement of share prices on the Kuwait Stock Exchange, warning of serious risks if it does.

"The role of authorities is to issue legislation and draw up policies besides monitoring and supervision," the president of the influential Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ali al-Ghanim, told a conference on the bourse.

"But intervention in the movement of [share] prices, under any banner, is not the responsibility of the state," said Ghanim in reference to comments by officials of government plans to lift the sagging market.

"Any government intervention in [price] movement ... will harm the market and small investors and speculators," Ghanim said.

The Kuwait Stock Exchange Index rebounded strongly Saturday, making its largest single-day gain and closing up 5.2 percent following heavy losses for six weeks.

The rise came after Commerce and Industry Minister Youssef al-Zalzalah met Thursday with a number of financial and investment officials to study measures to boost the bourse.

Local newspapers reported that the meeting discussed establishing a $1.7 billion fund to stabilize the market.

Jassem al-Saadun, head of Al-Shall Economic Consultants, warned that if the government intervened to boost share prices, a major crisis is bound to happen in the future.

The director of the bourse, Saafaq al-Rukaibi, called for granting "full and real independence" to the market management, saying this is essential to keep trading away from the influence of pressure groups.

Amman,03 21 2006
Redaction
The Daily Star
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