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"Illegal trade practices should be punished" -- experts

By Mohammad Kamal

KUWAIT, Sept 22 (KUNA) -- A number of economic experts called on implementing and following up on decisions made by Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) against illegal trade practices in order to achieve transparency in the stock market.
Earlier today on its website, KSE warned all the enlisted companies in the bourse to avoid any illicit practices that might refer them to legal prosecution according to law no. 7/2010 of KSE's Capital Markets Authority and the Regulation of the Activity of Securities. The law stipulates that "any criminal procedures and transactions should be punished by a five-year in jail and a KD 5,000 to 50,000 fine or either of these reprimands." "Tenders must also repay any financial gain, or even loss, achieved through this illegal trade as a penalty for their criminal behavior," the law stated.
These illegal practices could be hidden commissions, financial gifts from a medium in the local bourse and encouragements to buy or sell some deals to raise the value of some shares.
Therefore, some economic experts called on achieving transparency in the stock market in order to eliminate negative behaviors among tenders which would, hence, lift up Kuwait's economic status in the region and take a step closer to transforming the country into a regional financial hub.
KSE's Capital Markets Authority has the power to send out warning to suspicious tenders and traders, Mohammad Al-Thamer, a Kuwaiti bourse expert noted. "Transparency should be met and the names of illegal traders should be made public." He said that a special focus should be paid to companies whose shares surpass 150 percent; an indication of fake and suspicious transactions.
General Manager of Mena Financial and Economic Consultancy firm Adnan Al-Dulaimi reiterated that "the names of all illicit traders who have been referred to prosecution should be made known to the public, without any exceptions." Financial analysts Ali Al-Nimash and Mohammad Al-Hajri both said that some traders create multiple accounts in the stock market to hike up their shares which create unfair transactions and fake values. Therefore, they both stressed the importance of transparency and that full details of the crimes should be known to everyone.
According to a statistics made by Kuwait News Agency, there were 26 illegal cases reported to KSE's Capital Market Authority in the past nine months. Some of the suspected companies are: Kuwait Commercial Complex Company (SHOP), Ajwan Gulf Real Estate Dev. Co. K.S.C.C (AJWAN), Investors Holding Group Co. K.
S.C.C (INVESTORS), Ithmaar Bank B.S.C (ITHMR), Oula Fuel Marketing Company K.S.
C (OULAFUEL), Al-Madar Finance and Investment Company (MADAR), Dar Al-Thuraya Real Estate Company K.S.C.C (THURAYA), Future Communications Co. Global K.S.C.
C (FUTURE), and Sokouk Holding Company S.A.K.C (SOKOUK).
Also, Injazzat Real Estate Dev. Co. K.S.C.C (INJAZZAT), Mushrif Trading and Contracting Company (MTCC), National Industries Holding Group (NIND), Gulf Petroleum Investment S.A.K.C (GPI), Credit Rating and Collection K.S.C.C (TAHSSILAT), Al-Ahli Bank of Kuwait (ABK), Kuwait Remal Real Estate Company K.
S.C.C (REMAL), and Al-Qurain Holding Company (QURAINHLD).
In addition, Kuwait Finance House (KFIN), KIPCO Asset Management Company K.
S.C.CLOSED (KAMCO), Al-Salam Group Holding Company K.S.C.C (ALSALAM), Contracting and Marine Services Company (MARIN), Strategia Investment Company K.S.C.C (STRATEGIA), and National Slaughter House Company K.S.C.C. (end).
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