• Economic News Updates

    Economic News Updates

    For each market we cover, OBG produces regular economic research available on our website, by email subscription and via RSS feed. Free to access, our Economic Updates are targeted at those looking for regular comment on key sector developments.

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Limited uptake of new technology has had an impact on economic development in Kuwait, according to a recent report.

The Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) had a positive start to 2013, with the index steadily moving up to reach multi-year highs in May. While local investors are driving much of the recent activity, foreign capital is increasingly flowing into the Gulf’s third-largest bourse. Plans to privatise the exchange could also boost the KSE’s international profile.

Kuwait has announced it is conducting studies into the viability of extracting shale gas from recently identified reserves, although any commercial operation will likely be many years off.

As hydrocarbons’ contribution to Kuwait’s GDP is predicted to fall this year, growth is increasingly seen as hinging on the success of an ambitious state investment programme. However, concerns over delays to its implementation have raised questions as to how significantly it will boost GDP.

As the waiting list for government-subsidised housing in Kuwait has grown to more than 100,000 in 2013, projects aimed at combating the shortage will see a number of new construction projects in the coming years. Sluggish residential real estate growth and restrictive legislation have created difficulties for the sector, but new public-private partnerships (PPPs) and improved credit access could help alleviate Kuwait’s housing problems.

A landmark flight from Baghdad that touched down in late February at Kuwait International Airport looks set to usher in a new era of stronger economic ties between the two Gulf neighbours. The resumption of direct air-travel between Iraq's capital and Kuwait, which is building on a steadily rising flow of traffic between the two countries, spells good news for business leaders.