Saudi Arabia to widen foreign investment access again in 2017

Saudi Arabia has planned to reopen the stock market to foreign investors, in hopes to become an international capital markets hub, according to Mohammed Abdullah Elkuwaiz, chairman of the Capital Market Authority (CMA).

Qualified foreign institutions (QFIs) were allowed to invest in the market in 2015, and requirements to invest loosened towards the end of 2016.

“We are likely to follow up with a version three (of the QFI program) and maybe a version four shortly thereafter by continuing to deregulate foreign investor access,” said Elkuwaiz, the chairman of the body.

“Our expectation is we continue the same cycle. Thereabouts every year we would expect a re-release.”

As a part of the Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia are working to open, grow and develop their capital markets.

The CMA have been reviewing rules to make Saudi applicable for international equity indexes, therefore, bringing in more foreign money.

New listing rules will be announced in the coming months with M & A rules, having an emphasis on debt issuance.

Elkuwaiz said lot of the disclosure and offering requirements will be waived for publicly-traded companies which have already gone through much of the process for their equity listings.

He said it was reasonable to expect foreign company listings from mid-2018.

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