Kuwait Investment Company, established in 1961, was the first investment company not only of Kuwait, but also the surrounding region. The Kuwait Investment Company was created in the context of the flourishing Kuwaiti economy in the latter half of the 20th Century. Fahad Al-Rajaan served as the company’s issues department manager from 1975 to 1981. Discover more via the Fahad Al-Rajaan YouTube channel.
Kuwait’s Golden Era
From 1946 to the early 1980s, the state of Kuwait enjoyed a period of great prosperity fuelled by a burgeoning oil economy and the liberal atmosphere in the country. Major public programmes designed to improve the standard of living of ordinary Kuwaitis were implemented during 1950. Kuwait grew to become the greatest exporter of oil in the Gulf region by 1952.
All of this sudden growth attracted workers from all over the world, particularly India, Egypt and Palestine. The British protectorate of Kuwait ended in 1961 and the country achieved independence. Kuwait’s first parliamentary elections were held in 1963. The country became the first Gulf nation to establish a parliament and constitution.
Kuwait was the most advanced nation in the whole of the Middle East by the 1960s. It became a pioneer of the oil export business, leading the way in terms of diversification.
The Kuwait Investment Company was established when the country gained independence. The body came to be seen as a forerunning of economic and political leadership within the State of Kuwait, showing the importance of supporting economic development. The Kuwait Investment Company set up and implemented new standards for the emerging Kuwaiti investment industry, quickly becoming a role model in setting up and managing financial institutions. The Kuwait Investment Company is credited as playing a pivotal role in the development of Kuwaiti industry, contributing to the nation’s economy greatly.
The Kuwait Investment Company continued to serve the Kuwaiti investment industry over the course of the ensuing half a century. The Kuwait Investment Company has an enviable track record, prevailing over a number of crises, drawing on the company’s solid foundations to steer the country’s economy away from potential harm. The Kuwait Investment Company offers a range of financial and investment products, both locally and globally, including advice on asset management, share portfolios and local and regional funds. The Kuwait Investment Company’s board of directors is composed of:
- Ahmad A. Al Omar (Chairman).
- Meshari Z Al Khaled (Deputy Chairman).
- Rana A. Al Mezeini (Director).
- Salah A. Al Muraikhi (Director).
- Walid Al Shamlan (Director).
- Jamal A. Al Saleem (Director).
- Adel N. Hamada (Director).
- Meshari Al Oda (Director).
- Khaled Al Meshri (Secretary).
The Kuwaiti Economy
The Kuwaiti economy is small and relatively open. The Kuwaiti dinar is the world’s highest valued unit of currency. The State of Kuwait sits on approximately 10% of the world’s oil reserves. Its petroleum exports account for almost half the country’s gross domestic product.
The capital of Kuwait is Kuwait City. The Kuwaiti fiscal year runs from 1st April to 31st March. Latterly, Kuwait has done relatively little to diversify its economy from its lucrative oil industry. The first free-trade zone of Kuwait was inaugurated in 1999. The National Bank of Kuwait is the biggest bank in the country and one of the largest banks in the entirety of the Arab World.
Kuwait achieved an economic freedom score of 62.5 in 2014, making it the 74th freest economy in the world. Kuwait’s 62.5 freedom score was a 0.2 improvement upon 2013 owing the government’s improved management of its spending combined with initiatives to support trade, business and monetary freedoms. Kuwait ranks #7 out of 15 North African/Middle Eastern countries in terms of economic freedom, pushing it slightly ahead of overall scores not just regionally, but in terms of worldwide averages.
Kuwait has a population of some 3.9 million. Its gross domestic product amasses revenues in excess of $154.5 billion. The country’s 2015 growth is predicted at 0.8% with 0.6% compound annual growth over the next five years.
Kuwait does not charge its citizens income tax. Instead, revenues are raised via a 15% tax charged to foreign-owned companies. The majority of the government’s funding comes from gas and oil windfalls. The State of Kuwait ranks amongst the richest of all Arab countries.
Kuwait is ruled by the al-Sabah dynastic monarchy. In terms of regional ranking according to economic freedom, Kuwait ranks seventh amongst its Middle Eastern and North African neighbours, falling behind:
- The United Arab Emirates.
The State of Kuwait is the cradle of one of the most contested corners of the world, as well as one of the most ancient humanities. Kuwait, technically a city state, has been a magnet to nomadic peoples such as the Bedouin for thousands of years. Kuwait City, once a simple oasis, today has been transformed into a sprawling metropolis. Outside of Kuwait City, oil excavation dominates the area, which is largely composed of desert.