Comparison of CG in Gulf Nations

As a part of our study of the corporate governance practices in the MENA (Middle East & North Africa) region, we analysed and compared relevant codes and regulations of each of the 6 countries comprising the GCC, i.e., the Gulf Cooperation Council. These countries are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE.

These are some of our findings in brief:

  • 3 out of 6 countries have specified a minimum or maximum board size, or both. Bahrain restricts the maximum size at 15, Kuwait has set the minimum at 5 and Saudi Arabia recommends the Board to have between 3 and 11 members.
  • 5 out of 6 countries recommend the Board to be comprised majorly of non-executive directors. Oman recommends all directors to be non-executives.
  • 4 countries require the Board to have at-least one-third independent directors. Bahrain requires a minimum of 3 and Kuwait specifies no such number or percentage.
  • 5 out of 6 countries recommend the board-subcommittees, i.e., audit, nomination and remuneration committees to have at least 3 directors.
  • 4 out of 6 countries recommend that the audit committee should have majority of independent directors as members. The other two countries require at least one independent director in the committee.
  • 5 countries require audit committee to hold at least 4 meetings in a financial year. One of those countries has set the minimum number at six.
  • Many countries in the GCC have restrictions on the Board Chairman to chair any committee in the same company.

The full note is available in our website at: Comparison of CG Regulations in the Gulf