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HANetf & KMEFIC announce Kuwait ETF debut

First Middle Eastern Asset Manager to sponsor an UCITS ETF

KUW8 is the only UCITS ETF to provide targeted Kuwaiti equity exposure

Fourth ETF to launch via HANetf’s unique ETF white-label solution

London, 2nd April, 2019 - HANetf, Europe’s first independent white-label ETF platform, is delighted to announce that the KMEFIC FTSE Kuwait Equity UCITS ETF (KUW8) will launch on London Stock Exchange, Borsa Italiana and XETRA in April. 

KMEFIC FTSE Kuwait Equity UCITS ETF has been issued via the HANetf white-label ETF platform with KMEFIC (Kuwait & Middle East Financial Investment Company) as main sponsor and advisor. KMEFIC are a provider of asset management, brokerage and wealth management services headquartered in Kuwait.

This launch is a significant milestone for the European ETF industry, representing the first time that a Middle Eastern asset manager has advised and sponsored an ETF in Europe, the first ETF from KMEFIC and the only UCITS ETF to provide targeted exposure to Kuwait.

By tracking the FTSE Kuwait All-Cap 15% Capped Index, the KMEFIC FTSE Kuwait Equity UCITS ETF enables investors to gain exposure to 13 Kuwaiti companies with a combined market capitalisation of ~$US14.6 billion. Constituents are capped at 15% during a quarterly rebalance to reduce concentration in larger-cap securities. The ETF has a TER of 80bps.

Kuwait was recently promoted to “Emerging Market” status by index provider FTSE Russell in their annual country classification review. The Gulf nation is currently undergoing an economic overhaul to reduce dependency on oil revenues, attract greater foreign investment and expand the private sector. 

Adel Fahed Al Humaidhi, Chief Executive Officer, KMEFIC: “The Kuwait and Middle East Financial Investment Company has always strived to be an innovator in the financial landscape of Kuwait. 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, co-CEO, HANetf commented “Kuwait is an emerging country with huge potential and we are excited both by our relationship with KMEFIC and by what the launch of this new ETF represents for the European ETF industry. 

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. HANetf significantly reduces the barriers to entry to the European ETF market for companies such as KMEFIC.

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 said “We are delighted that the FTSE Kuwait All-Cap 15% Capped Index has been selected as the benchmark for the first European ETF from a Middle East-based asset manager. 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.” 

The KMEFIC FTSE Kuwait Equity UCITS ETF is the fourth ETF to launch on HANetf’s unique white-label ETF platform; following the successful launches by Big Tree Capital (EMQQ) and Gins Global Index Funds (ITEK and SKYY) in Q4 2018.

HANetf is working with a diverse group of asset managers to bring innovative ETFs to European investors and expects to significantly expand its ETF range across asset classes over 2019. 

In HANetf, asset managers seeking to join the European ETF market have a cost-effective, scalable and coherent market entry solution. Many aspiring ETF issuers are held back by concerns about perceived high barriers to entry and the challenges of competing with established industry leaders. HANetf offers a new solution – dramatically lowering the barriers to entry and providing scale through aggregation. enabling asset managers to focus on what they do best – developing phenomenal investment concepts. 

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