Send money to Kuwait

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The Kuwaiti dinar (KWD) is a fully convertible currency, and money can be transferred to Kuwait and transferred from Kuwait with relatively few restrictions. While foreign currency exchange is unrestricted, several constraints remain on foreign investment which has led to very low levels of FDI compared to its regional neighbors.

Kuwait’s money transfer regulations

Kuwait allows for the free movement of cash transfers and repatriation of investment capital, profits, interest, dividends, royalties and personal savings. Eleven domestic banks and 12 foreign bank operations from countries in the Gulf, as well as China, Europe and North America are currently licenced to operate by the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK), as well as 39 foreign currency exchange businesses.

Foreign ownership of business, however, is generally severely restricted; Kuwait receives the lowest amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the Middle East and North African region and is the lowest-ranked GCC country in the World Banks 2014 Doing Business report. The primary obstacles include bureaucratic red tape, lengthy procedures for new business creation, and the fact that foreign firms are barred from direct involvement in the petroleum and real estate sectors. Efforts are underway to ease foreign investment conditions, however, and 100% foreign ownership is permitted in certain sectors, including utilities, infrastructure, insurance, IT, tourism, and pharmaceuticals.

Kuwait’s regulatory authority

The CBK is responsible for monitoring and preserving the health of the financial system. The CBK sets and implements monetary policy, regulates the banking sector, and monitors the foreign exchange market in an effort to maintain price stability.

Kuwait is also a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a regional body that promotes political and economic integration among its six member states, which also include Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Oman. Kuwait is the only GCC country whose currency is not pegged to the US dollar (USD). Instead, the Kuwaiti dinar is held on a managed float and referenced to a weighted basket of currencies. The exact makeup of the basket is undisclosed, but consists of the currencies of Kuwaits primary trade and financial partners. The basket is heavily dominated by the US dollar.

The GCC Monetary Council, headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, provides a forum for member countries to discuss and coordinate monetary policy. A project to create a GCC monetary union and common currency has been proposed numerous times, but has seen little real progress. The UAE and Oman indicated in 2013 that they would not take part in the most recent iteration of the project, and no changes are expected on this front in the near-term.

Kuwait’s economic background

The small Gulf nation of Kuwait punches above its weight in the global economy thanks to its significant oil and gas resources and the vast sums of foreign exchange their exports generate.Like most oil-rich countries in the region, Kuwaits economy relies heavily on foreign workers, who, with the exception of a handful of engineering or finance professionals are overwhelmingly low-skilled workers from Asia. The Kuwait Public Authority for Civil Information estimated in July 2014 that expatriates made up 69% of the countrys nearly 4m population.


The Kuwaiti dinar (KWD), consists of 1,000 fils. The Central Bank of Kuwait issues banknotes in denominations of 250 fils and 50 fils, as well as 1, 5, 10, and 20 dinars. Coins are issued with values of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 fils and one dinar.

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