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02 October 2023

'Kuwait should rescue investment firms'

Ibrahim Dabdoub (SUPPLIED)

By Reuters

Kuwait should rescue investment firms hit by the global financial crisis, even though their downfall may not affect banks in the Gulf state, National Bank of Kuwait's chief executive said yesterday.

"For investment companies, I personally believe that there should be a rescue operation, especially for big ones, as this would affect [investors'] psychology," Ibrahim Dabdoub, CEO of Kuwait's biggest bank, told Al Arabiya television.

"There will be definitely ramifications [if investment firms go bankrupt], but it will not affect Kuwaiti banks in a large way as Kuwaiti banks have large capital bases." Pressure is mounting on the government to do more to help troubled investment firms, which make up roughly half of Kuwait's listed companies, to get fresh loans to bridge short-term funding gaps. Global Investment House, Kuwait's biggest investment bank, said last month it had defaulted on most of its debt.

"We need a stimulus package as our [Gulf] economies are based on government expenditure. I assume the [new] budget will include more financing," Dabdoub said.