Slow Start For Saudi Stock Market Opening To Foreigners

The eagerly awaited opening of the Saudi stock exchange (Tadawul) to qualified foreign investors (QFIs) on 15 June has gotten off to a slow start, with no rush by institutional foreign investors to acquire Saudi shares.

The Tadawul All Share Index (TASI) fell 83 points to 9,562 on 15 June, the first day of the opening of trading to foreigners, and closed further down at 9,506 on 18 June.

Despite the uneventful beginning, the opening of the kingdom’s equity market to QFIs was a necessary decision, as Saudi Arabia was the only country among the G20 which barred foreign investors from its stock market. Saudi Arabia, the biggest economy in the Middle East with a GDP estimated at $750bn in 2014, has a stock market capitalization at more than $590bn. (CONTINUED - 927 WORDS)