Boursa Kuwait collaborated with the Middle East Investor Relations Association (MEIRA) and its Kuwait Chapter to organize an Investor Relations (IR) seminar entitled “What Motivates GCC Retail Investors to Invest in Listed Companies” on Thursday, June 23, 2022, as part of their constant efforts to develop the ever-expanding investor relations field, aiming to increase transparency – considered the backbone of the IR industry – in communications with current and prospective investors, locally and around the world.
The seminar reviewed the motivations of GCC retail investors and their investment behavior, including what influences their investment decisions, which sources they trust and the type of content they find most engaging. Also discussed were the findings of a Brunswick survey of 1034 retail investors across Kuwait, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman.
The seminar was moderated by John Gollifer, the General Manager of the Middle East Investor Relations Association (MEIRA) and its keynote speakers included Boursa Kuwait’s Head of Markets Sector Noura AlAbdulkareem, Ms. Ranya Afifi, Director and Head of Gulf Insight at Brunswick and the Head of Investor Relations at Jazeera Airways, Mr. Mustafa AlMaghrabi.
The panelists discussed the latest findings governing GCC retail investors’ attitudes and investment decisions. Kuwaiti, Omani and Saudi retail investors had the highest exposure to their local equity markets, while the UAE had the lowest. As per the survey results, some international trends such as Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices as well as Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) are becoming more important to retail investors and issuers are expected to actively communicate on these matters.
Speaking at the seminar, Ms. Ranya Afifi said, “This was an absolutely fantastic opportunity for us to share some of our insights about retail investors, particularly in the GCC, and find out what motivates them to make their investment decisions.”
She added, “A lot of information is available about institutional investors, and what motives they have to make their decisions. On the other hand, not a lot of information is available on retail investors, which still make up a large percentage of investors in the region. I would like to thank Boursa Kuwait for organizing this seminar, which was a great platform to converse with the panelists and allow them to share their insights and experiences with retail investors.”
Collaboration with Boursa Kuwait
The collaboration between Boursa Kuwait and MEIRA is part of the Education pillar of Boursa Kuwait’s Corporate Sustainability strategy and is an example of its endeavors to raise financial literacy and capital market awareness among current and prospective investors. The bourse has launched several initiatives to empower and equip businesses and investors with the ability to capture market opportunities as well as transform the Kuwaiti capital market into a robust capital market ecosystem and Kuwait into an attractive investment destination.
The initiative also forms part of the company’s efforts to create a lasting meaningful impact on the communities where it operates as part of its Corporate Sustainability strategy and is in line with Goal 4 – Quality Education – and Goal 17 – Partnership for the Goals – of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Mr. Fahad Al-Bisher, Director of Investor Relations at Boursa Kuwait commented on the changing landscape of investor relations in the region, saying, “Over the past 10 years, the Middle East has seen significant movements in capital markets, accompanied by changes in the structure of stakeholder engagements. One of the most important changes is in Investor Relations and it is becoming increasingly crucial to have a clear well planned and effective investor relations program – one that can help deliver and communicate the value of the company and build a strong shareholder base. I would like to thank the Middle East Investor Relations Association for their long-standing partnership with the exchange, and look forward to more collaborations in the future.”
Speaking on behalf of MEIRA, General Manager Mr. John Gollifer said, “Boursa Kuwait continues to lead by example in its pursuit of best practice investor relations. MEIRA is proud to support this ongoing effort and our most recent collaboration highlights the importance of a key market segment, retail investors. It is most heartening to understand and discuss the relevance of developing an equity culture across all our markets. We can only do this together, along with great examples from our listed companies and with the input of expert thought leadership. We look forward to more such initiatives with Boursa Kuwait that serve to effectively position markets across the GCC.”
Boursa Kuwait’s Corporate Sustainability strategy stipulates ensuring initiatives apply and fall in line with the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR), industry best practice standards and investor expectations, creating strong and sustainable partnerships that ultimately achieve success and allow Boursa Kuwait to leverage the capabilities and strengths of other companies or organizations that have experience in different fields, and integrating sustainability efforts with the company culture, in order to achieve longevity and an ongoing impact that is carried on and instilled in the day-to-day operations of the stock exchange.
As part of the strategy, Boursa Kuwait has launched many initiatives in partnership with local and international organizations, focusing on support for nongovernmental organizations and charity programs, financial literacy and capital market awareness, the empowerment of women, environmental protection as well as safety and preventive measures against Covid-19.