World

Saudi Arabia relaxes ownership limits for foreign investors

26 June 2019 - 52   - 0

RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia has relaxed a 49% limit for foreign strategic investors in shares of listed companies, it said on Wednesday.

The country has introduced a raft of reforms in recent years to make its stock market, the region’s biggest, attractive to foreign investors and issuers.

The move is aimed to help “enhance the market’s efficiency and attractiveness and to expand the institutional investments base,” the regulator, the Capital Market Authority (CMA), said in a statement on its website.

There will be no minimum or maximum ownership limit, although the owners must hold the shares for two years before they can sell.

Foreign investors can take stakes in listed companies by buying shares directly on the market, or through private transactions and via initial public offerings.

In April, the CMA chairman Mohammed El Kuwaiz had told Reuters the CMA plans to relax limit on foreign strategic investors due to increased demand.

The Saudi stock market, which opened to foreign investors in 2015, has seen an upsurge in foreign fund flows since the start of the year due to the inclusion in the emerging markets indexes.

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