The Kuwait & Middle East Financial Investment Company (KMEFIC) has teamed-up with HANetf to launch Europe’s first Kuwait ETF.
The KMEFIC FTSE Kuwait Equity UCITS ETF (KUW8) has been issued via HANetf’s white label platform with KMEFIC as the main sponsor and adviser.
Headquartered in Kuwait, KMEFIC is a provider of asset management, brokerage and wealth management services.
KUW8 will list on the London Stock Exchange, Borsa Italiana and Xetra later this month with a total expense ratio (TER) of 0.80%.
Tracking the FTSE Kuwait All-Cap 15% Capped index, KUW8 offers investors exposure to 13 Kuwaiti companies with a combined market cap of $14.6bn.
Rebalancing semi-annually, securities in KUW8 are capped at 15%, in a move to reduce concentration risk.
The launch comes six months after FTSE Russell included Kuwait in its emerging markets index, in a move that is expected bring in as much as $800m in foreign direct investment.
Adel Fahed Al Humaidhi, CEO of KMEFIC, commented: “KMEFIC aims to be a leader in breaking down barriers to investments in Kuwait’s equity markets.
“We hope that this product will be the first of many that will allow foreign investors to participate in Kuwait’s vibrant emerging economy.”
Hector McNeil (pictured), co-CEO of HANetf said: “By effectively reducing the barriers to launching an ETF, HANetf has enabled traditional asset managers like KMEFIC to break into the previously closed club of European ETF issuers, expanding the distribution reach of their investment ideas, offering investors new tools and exposures and creating a more diverse, competitive ETF marketplace.
“Kuwait is seeing a surge in foreign investor interest and this ETF provides a much-needed solution for European investors to gain exposure to the Kuwaiti companies poised to benefit from a diversifying economy.”
Stéphane Degroote, head of ETFs & derivatives EMEA, FTSE Russell, added: “Kuwait’s recent promotion to emerging market status and inclusion into FTSE’s global equity indexes is increasing awareness and investment into the country and the new ETF will offer European investors access to this fast-growing market.”
This is the fourth ETF to launch through Europe's first white-label platform HANetf. Last year, it teamed-up with Big Tree Capital to unveil EMQQ and Gins Global Index Funds to launch ITEK and SKYY. The firm said it expects to bring a wide range of ETFs to Europe throughout this year.