KAC to sell stake


The Kuwaiti government wants to sell an 80 per cent stake in loss-making national carrier Kuwait Airways (KAC).

Acting Parliamentary Affairs Minister Abdulwahed Al Awadhi said the government wanted to sell 40 per cent of the firm in an initial public offering (IPO). Another 40 per cent would be offered in an auction for firms listed on the Kuwaiti stock market, while the government would keep a 20 per cent stake.
KAC staff would be entitled to an unidentified per centage of the IPO at a ‘preferential’ price, a news report said. IPOs in the Gulf state are often only open to Kuwaitis, a main government tool to share wealth.
Parliament’s financial and economic committee earlier approved the government plan to sell the carrier which now goes to the floor.
Under the government plan, KAC staff will get incentives to leave the company, which analysts see as overstaffed. Employees would be entitled to a five-year salary if they decided to leave or could transfer to a government body at the same salary level.
KAC management has been keen to privatise the company to make it more competitive, but many parliamentarians have rejected such as moves, saying this would endanger jobs for Kuwaitis.
KAC, which has posted losses for several years, last month placed an order with local firm Aviation Lease and Finance.