Saudi bourse in talks with other GCC markets – CEO

Tadawul boss seeking closer ties with regional bourses amid relaxation of foreign investment rules
By Daniel Shane
Thu 09 May 2013 11:37 AM

The head of the Saudi Arabian stock market has said that it is in talks with the other bourses over potential integration.

The Tadawul, based in Riyadh, lists about 160 securities and has gained approximately 6 percent in 2013.

“We’ve been in discussion with various exchanges in the region and abroad and discussing the notion of joint products, joint indexes,” said CEO Abdullah Al-Suweilmy, according to Bloomberg.

“Some regional integration would make sense and I have seen in recent months specifically that there have been more serious discussions about integration in the region,” he added.

Foreign investors can presently only buy shares in the Saudi bourse via swap deals involving international investment banks, as well as a small number of exchange-traded funds.

The bourse’s regulator, the Capital Markets Authority, earlier this week said that it was finalising plans that would allow foreigners to directly own stocks in the Gulf country. He claimed though that the market had no need for liquidity from overseas investors.

"We are attracting foreign investment to come to the market for the technical expertise and human capacity," Mohammed bin Abdulmalik Al al-Sheikh said. He did not provide a timeframe on when the new rules would be introduced.

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