Saudi Arabia relaxes ownership limits for foreign investors

Visitors stand and watch stock movements displayed on large video screens inside the Saudi Stock Exchange, also known as the Tadawul All Share Index in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Monday, Nov.28, 2016. The Tadawul All Share Index advanced 26 percent since Saudi Arabias record-breaking bond sale last month, the most in the world during that period. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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Saudi Arabia has relaxed a 49 per cent limit for foreign strategic investors in shares of listed companies, aiming to attract billions of dollars of foreign funds as the kingdom opens up the region’s largest bourse to a more diverse investor base.

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 aims 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.


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


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