ASAR, Kuwait’ leading law firm, and one of the region’s top tier firms was invited by Corporate Counsel Middle East (CCME) to present a seminar to its members at the JW Marriott Hotel concerning the Kuwait Capital Markets Authority (the Insider Trading Rules).
The seminar was attended by in-house lawyers from some of Kuwait’s best known companies, and commenced with a description of those affected by the Insider Trading Rules, (including Board Members of Kuwait joint stock companies listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE), the Executive Management of those companies, including persons who, by virtue of their position, have access to material, non-public data and information about the listed company or its clients and other “Authorized Persons” who, include persons such as lawyers, financial advisors, auditors etc. that have been provided with, or given access to, material, non-public data and information concerning the listed company or its clients).
ASAR highlighted that material data and information included data and information concerning a listed company’s activities, financial position, management or its clients, which is not available to the public and which, if disclosed, may affect the assets, liabilities, financial position, general direction of the business of the listed company or of its clients and, ultimately, the share price of the listed company.
Mr. John Cunha, Partner at ASAR said, “The CMA’s new Insider Trading Rules have been issued in a further effort to curb improper and illicit securities trading in Kuwait. It is important to highlight who exactly is affected by the Insider Trading Rules and what the responsibilities of listed companies, the KSE, and Authorized Persons are under the Insider Trading Rules. It is also imperative to understand the relevant Blackout Periods put in place to prevent the suspicious use of material data and information prior to financial results being published and made available to the public; and the importance of ensuring that each listed company files (and keeps up to date) its “Authorized Persons List” with both the CMA and the KSE, as prescribed under the Insider Trading Rules.”
Mr. Khalid Khan, General Counsel of Gulf Investment Corporation and CCME’s board member and representative in Kuwait said, “The Insider Trading Rules are designed to help ensure a level playing field in Kuwait. New regulations like these are important because they are a mark of maturity. A country’s capital markets cannot develop whilst there is a perception that some privileged insiders can and do profit from their position by buying or selling securities based on information they have that is not yet known to the general public. It is only when both international and small local investors are confident that the market is fair, transparent, open and properly regulated that markets really take off. A good regulator and rigorous rules, applied fairly, is the best way of getting people to invest. The more people that invest, the more money can be applied towards growth and opportunity – and that is critical to the long term development and prosperity of the region”.
ASAR provides clients across an extensive range of industry sectors with comprehensive legal support for their business activities across the GCC and beyond. The firm, through its network between Kuwait and Bahrain, help clients create the appropriate vehicles and ensure that they comply with the detailed provisions regarding their ownership and operation under the relevant local laws.
The firm has been consistently rated as the leading corporate and commercial law firm in Kuwait by reputable legal guides such as the Chambers Global Guide, International Financial Law Review and the Legal 500. In 2013, ASAR was named as the “Best Law Firm in Kuwait 2013” by the International Financial Law Review (IFLR), the market-leading guide for financial law firms worldwide. The firm also won the “Best Restructuring Deal in the Middle East” award by IFLR during the same year.
Corporate Counsel Middle East is a professional body exclusively for in-house counsel in the Middle East. It includes more than 200 active members, a network of 500+ in-house counsel and over 1,000 practicing lawyers in the Middle East. It has recently extended its operations to Kuwait and this seminar is part of a series of free events sponsored by leading law firms in the Middle East, designed to promote the development of in-house lawyers and in-house practice across the GCC and to support the environment for growth and development of business in Kuwait and elsewhere in the GCC.