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Alternative Market Briefing

Saudi Stock Exchange moves ahead with reforms, opens IPOs to foreign investors

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:

The Saudi Stock Exchange, Tadawul, is moving ahead with several reforms aimed at developing the local market as well as improving governance and transparency. The reforms are part of Tadawul's participation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 national program. The Vision 2030 program is a national initiative in support of diversifying and modernizing Saudi Arabia's economy.

"As the largest exchange in the region and the most liquid exchange, we wanted to roll out an ambitious plan to accelerate our development," said Khalid Abdullah Al Hussan, Chief Executive Officer of Tadawul in an interview with Opalesque.

The changes include a variety of market structure and investment updates. Most notably, Tadawul will allow foreign participation in Saudi IPOs. Foreign investors will have to register through the Kingdom's Qualified Foreign Investor (QFI) program in order to participate.

Saudi Arabia first opened its markets to foreign investors in 2015, as part of a broader push to become recognized as an emerging market and has since registered 56 international financial institutions through the QFI program. According to Al Hussan, the Kingdom plans to keep expanding the ways in which foreign investors can access the Saudi market. "Tadawul has conducted three roadshows in the U.S., Europe, and Asia with more than 250 participating investors," he says. "Based on the positive feedback and interest received to d......................

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