Sunday, July 18, 2010

Kuwaiti Listed Companies – Who’s on the Boards?

Augustus Pugin Senior and Thomas Rowlandson - Public Domain

In a recent article, Eissa Abdul Salaam at AlQabas published a study on the board seats held by various Kuwaiti families. Here's the more important link to the detailed results.  

The study considers families with 5 or more board seats on listed companies.  It also notes the legal and regulatory requirements to be eligible to be a director as well as restrictions.

At first blush, this report might be considered a way of getting an insight into economic influence in the country, though one has to recall that owners often have a corps of dedicated retainers known in local parlance as رجال النعم who serve in a variety of functions, including as board members. As well, one would expect that certain prominent families, especially those with a particularly noble and regal presence, might be asked to adorn the board of this or that company as happens in the "developed" West.

In any case there is some utility to the report. It gives a snapshot of the prominent families. And perhaps to a limited extent a relative ranking of wealth.

Here's a quick summary.  Note:  I'm using the numbers in the details not the article.  Below is only a partial list.  Those families with  14 seats and above.  As noted above, the AlQabas list extends to  five seats and above - giving a grand total of  583 seats.

Family# Seats
Cadet Branches37

Cadet Branches are identified as Sultan, Bin Eissa, AlBadr, AlMutawa by AlQabas.

AlQabas also provides a breakdown of the number of directors, though again it seems there is a difference in totals. The article refers to 192 listed companies. Excluding Non Kuwaitis and parallel market stocks, I believe 198 companies are listed on the KSE. Unless I've done the maths wrong, the total companies accounted for are 186.
# Directors# CompaniesTotal Directors
4    4    16
5  74  370
6  14    84
7  65  455
8  10    80
9  16  144
10    3    30



Anonymous said...

282/1179? Hmmph - I thought it would be higher. Much higher...

Abu 'Arqala said...


That's just part of the AlQabas list.

And don't forget that with the restrictions on number of board seats an individual may hold, having a friend or two or a friendly employee or two can come in quite handy.