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Dow Jones to launch index for Kuwait

Dow Jones Indexes is launching the Kuwait Index, a composite equity index that will track the performance of the Kuwait stock market starting 23 May 2005.

The index has been licensed to Industrial & Financial Investments Co. (IFIC)—one of the leading investment firms in Kuwait—to be used as the basis for index funds and index-related products.

The index is a full-market, capitalization-weighted index that will include 118 components. All companies included in the index are domiciled and headquartered in Kuwait—with a primary listing at the Kuwait Stock Exchange—and are available for trading. The index follows Dow Jones Indexes' transparent and rules-based index methodology.

The top five companies in the index are Public Warehousing Co. K.S.C., Mobile Telecommunications Co. (MTC) K.S.C., National Bank of Kuwait S.A.K., Kuwait Finance House K.S.C. and Gulf Bank of Kuwait K.S.C.

The index was created so that it could be used as underlying for financial products such as mutual funds, index funds, exchange-traded funds and other index-linked products that enable investors to participate in the performance of the Kuwait stock market.

"Kuwait is the first GCC market to be added to Dow Jones Indexes' suite of country indexes, and is among the largest stock markets in the GCC region—with a market capitalization of more than KWD 26 billion ($89 billion)," said Lars Hamich, managing director of STOXX Ltd., the joint venture that is responsible for Dow Jones Indexes' business development in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. "With the Dow Jones Kuwait Index, we will provide an investable universe for national and international index trackers and active managers, a transparent index concept, and a methodology consistent with our rules-based global index family."

"The Kuwaiti stock market is one of the fastest-growing markets in the Middle East, and we strongly believe that emerging-markets money managers are missing a great economic opportunity by not allocating part of their portfolio to the area," said Mohammad Mohareb Al-Qahtany, assistant general manager of Industrial & Financial Investments Company. "In addition, the strong state of Kuwait's economy was reaffirmed by several ratings agencies including Fitch, which gave Kuwait a AA Country Ceiling rating. This places Kuwait on par with countries such as India, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Iceland, Slovenia and Taiwan."

The Dow Jones Kuwait Index, which is calculated in U.S. dollars (USD) and Kuwait Dinars (KWD), is reviewed quarterly in March, June, September, and December. The components, weightings and daily closing values of the Dow Jones Kuwait Index are available on starting May 23, 2005.

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