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Sun 17 Apr 2016 06:28 PM

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Saudi stock market to hire investment bank for flotation

Saudi Arabia is expected to privatise and float a number of state-owned assets in the next few years, part of efforts to raise cash to help bridge a budget shortfall caused by lower oil prices

Saudi stock market to hire investment bank for flotation
Saudi Stock Exchange, or Tadawul, in the capital Riyadh. (FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)

The Saudi Stock Exchange is in the process of hiring an
investment bank to advise on its flotation, the bourse, known as Tadawul, said
on Sunday.

Saudi Arabia is expected to privatise and float a number of
state-owned assets in the next few years, part of efforts to raise cash to help
bridge a budget shortfall caused by lower oil prices. The aim is also to
improve the efficiency of the economy by the reform of state companies and by
bringing in professional investors.

Among them is Tadawul, which said in December it planned to
list its shares in 2018.

Sources told Reuters last month that the stock exchange had
invited investment banks in early March to submit bids to advise on its planned
initial public offering.

In a statement on Sunday, in response to Reuters' questions,
Tadawul said it was in the process of appointing an investment bank and would
make an announcement as soon as a selection was made.

The stock market is the largest exchange in the Middle East
with a total market capitalisation of 1.48 trillion riyals ($394.6 billion),
according to Thomson Reuters data.

It also said it had hired a consultant to assess the firm's
readiness for the planned public share sale but declined to name the firm it
had appointed.

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