Insider Trading at KIA? Just Ask KIA

Ashby Monk

Whenever I come across news about the Kuwait Investment Authority, I feel compelled to write something. This fund is just too paranoid about information control and secrecy to skip any opportunity. After all, fund employees are literally forbidden (legally) from disclosing any information to the public related to the SWF’s work.

Anyway, the Kuwait Times had an article yesterday on the ongoing insider trading investigation that was launched against the KIA earlier this year. Apparently, the parliamentary committee investigating the claims of ‘violations and favoritism’ is in final deliberations.

To catch you up, MP Musallam Al-Barrak made some serious allegations about Finance Minister Mustafa Al-Shamali (and others), which ultimately led to the investigation. Or, rather, it led to the KIA being asked to draft a report for parliament that detailed some additional aspects of the KIA’s operations.

As it turns out, Al-Barrak isn’t very happy with the way the investigation is going:

“During Monday’s meeting, Al-Barrak reportedly expressed “deep disappointment” at what he described as “the minister’s disregard for the committee’s inquiries.” He further indicated that while the KIA’s chairman had denied media allegations, his denials in fact further support suggestions of the claims’ validity, especially since they first arose two months ago.”

It seems to me that the difficulty in this process (though its hard to know) likely stems from the fact that committee is relying on the KIA to, in effect, police itself and report what it finds. And, when there is no real transparency, it’s hard for outsiders (even parliamentarians) to have any real sense for what’s going on.

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This website is a project of Professor Gordon L. Clark and Dr. Ashby Monk of the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford. Their research on sovereign wealth funds is funded by the Leverhulme Trust and The Rotman International Centre for Pension Management.

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