Saudi to ease requirements for foreign investors in bourse

The securities regulator of Saudi announced that from January 23, they will ease the requirements for foreign institutional investors to enter the stock market, as the Kingdom seeks to diversify their economy from oil.

An additional change is the minimum value of assets for an institution to qualify as an investor, which will fall to $500m from $1bn.

The qualification process will be simplified and institutions will be able to qualify affiliates and their managed funds, both through one application.

The reforms were originally announced in November, the Tuesday announcement by the Capital Market Authority was to finalize the date.

Saudi Arabia opened their stock markets for direct investment mid-2015, and since then have periodically eased the requirements for international investors to enter the Kingdom. By the end of 2017, there were 118 international investors registered.

All types of foreign investment, including those who hold indirect stocks through swaps, own 4.2% of the market, this market capitalization is worth over $450bn.