Saudi stock market on track for MSCI status

Saudi Arabia is on course to join MSCI Inc.’s emerging-markets index in 2018, chairman of the kingdom’s Capital Market Authority (CMA) Mohammed al-Jadaan told Bloomberg Markets Middle East television show.

The CMA this week made changes including lowering the amount qualified foreign financial institutions must have under management to access the market and increasing the stake they can own in a company.

The amendments “should be enough to put the Saudi market on the watchlist hopefully within 2017,” Mohammed Al-Jadaan said. It normally takes four quarters for inclusion in the index, he added.

“Next month, we have an investment forum in New York and the month after, we have another one in London,” Al-Jadaan said.

Al-Jadaan said the market’s systems and facilities are ready for the potential initial public offering of Saudi Arabian Oil Company. The government plans to sell up to 5 percent of the company in early 2018.

“I don’t think local demand would be able to cover that size that they are talking about,” Al-Jadaan said. But the international demand is there and “that’s why we’re making sure that we will be able to get foreign demand into the Tadawul,” he said.

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