Saudi plan to open stock market to foreign investors at ‘advanced’ stage
LONDON // Saudi Arabia’s plan to open its stock market to foreign investors is at an “advanced” stage, and the kingdom has already received substantial interest from overseas, said a senior economic leader. Prince Saud bin Khalid Al Faisal, the executive director of investment policy at the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority, said he had consulted with Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority, and said the plan to open the Tadawul to large foreign investors is on track.
“It’s at very advanced stages, but there has not been a final date given,” he said.
“We’ve been getting an influx of investors who are interested in investing in the Saudi market. The comments we have been getting is that this interest stems from the Saudi market being one of the best-governed among the emerging markets.”
Saudi authorities said last summer that the stock market would open up to large foreign investors, saying that the move would take place in the first half of this year. But no date has been set. According to a report in August by Jadwa Investment, the move could inject up to US$50 billion into the market.
“Beyond the short term we believe that total foreign inflows could total between $40bn to $50bn, but this will only be the case if active investors feel there is value to be had in Saudi stocks,” it said.
Prince Saud, who gave the opening address at the Telegraph Middle East Congress in London, said that he expected general levels of foreign direct investment (FDI) to rise in the Arabian Gulf region. “In the past six years alone, the GCC states have attracted total FDI inflows of more than $237bn,” he said.
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Updated: February 25, 2015 04:00 AM