February 14, 2019 / 3:21 PM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 1-Kuwait bourse in deal to sell 44 pct stake, plans IPO later

(Adds Athens bourse CEO comment)

By Ahmed Hagagy and George Georgiopoulos

KUWAIT/ATHENS, Feb 14 (Reuters) - A consortium led by Kuwait’s National Investment Co and including the Athens bourse won a tender to acquire 44 percent of the Kuwait stock exchange, NIC’s chairman said on Thursday.

“The winner is the private sector, the investors and the listed companies, all the ideas we said about developing the bourse will be implemented,” Hamad al-Omairi told Reuters.

The consortium that won the tender also includes Arzan Financial Group and First Investment It offered 0.237 Kuwaiti dinar ($0.78) per share for the stake.

Kuwait’s stock exchange has plans for an initial public offering at a later stage, the CEO of the Athens bourse said.

“There are plans by the Kuwait exchange for an IPO at a later stage to sell 50 percent and get listed,” Socrates Lazaridis, CEO at Hellenic Exchanges told Reuters in Athens.

Under the plan, a further 6 percent stake will go to Kuwait’s main pension fund as part of the bourse’s privatisation, he said.

“Our main role as part of the consortium will be to provide the technical infrastructure, install our trading system and help on business development strategy,” Lazaridis said.

The winning consortium that includes two local players and an international stock market operator competed against a bid by Spain’s stock exchange which had teamed up with a Kuwait commercial bank, he said.

Hellenic Exchanges, which is about 60 percent owned by foreign investors, operates Greece’s stock and futures markets.

$1 = 0.3036 Kuwaiti dinars Writing by George Georgiopoulos Editing by Alexandra Hudson and David Evans

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