Global business tycoon to invest billions in KSA

Updated 23 April 2013
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Global business tycoon to invest billions in KSA

Mexico's business tycoon Carlos Slim, the world's richest man with a net worth of $73 billion, is planning to invest billions of dollars in a range of projects in Saudi Arabia. Slim is considering plans to invest in lucrative petrochemical projects in Jubail, the industrial city in the east of the Kingdom, as well as in other projects in undisclosed sectors, according to Saudi and Mexican sources.
"The visit of Slim to Riyadh comes within the framework of the commercial relations between the Kingdom and Mexico," said Saudi Ambassador to Mexico Hussein Al-Arisi, who was accompanying the Mexican billionaire in his business mission here. Slim, who has been ranked by Forbes as the world’s richest man for four years in a row, visited Jubail with Al-Asiri to check the feasibility of plans and projects in which he evinced keen interest.
Asked about the talks between Slim and senior Saudi officials and businessmen, Mexican Ambassador Arturo Trejo said: "Slim visited the Kingdom in response to an invitation from Minister of Finance Ibrahim Al-Assaf. "The Mexican business tycoon was received by Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense; and Prince Muqrin, second deputy premier, during his stay in Riyadh," Trejo told Arab News here yesterday.
Slim, who also visited Janadariyah festival, plans to "invest billions to build new manufacturing plants," said a report published in an Arabic daily newspaper. The Mexican billionaire also met with Mosleh Al-Otaibi, chief executive of the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu. The Mexican billionaire, who is also known for his philanthropy, has a family wealth estimated at $ 73 billion, around $4 billion more than in 2012.
Slim's net worth increased from $ 69 billion last year to $ 73 billion after he expanded his empire into Europe through an acquisition of a Dutch telecom company and a majority stake in Spanish soccer club Real Oviedo. He made much of his fortune in telecoms, and also has interests in mining, real estate and infrastructure. Slim, who has benefited from the left-wing governments of South American nations, also visited Kuwait during this maiden leg of his Gulf trip.
Slim was accompanied by a high-ranking delegation, including Carlos Peralta, Mexico's largest industrial conglomerate, during his visit to the Kingdom. Referring to the visit of Slim, which indicates the progressively growing ties between Riyadh and Mexico City, Ambassador Trejo said the visit of the Mexican delegation was aimed at "strengthening commercial partnership" between the two nations.
"Slim came here as a friend of Saudi Arabia," said Trejo, adding that the Kingdom, as one of the most dynamic and competitive markets in the world, is extremely interesting for us. "We need to define a more aggressive commercial policy to increase our presence in the Saudi market," he added. The two-way trade between the Kingdom and Mexico has been in the region of $ 1 billion.


Saudi stocks receive landmark emerging markets upgrade from MSCI

Updated 21 June 2018
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Saudi stocks receive landmark emerging markets upgrade from MSCI

  • Market authorities in Saudi Arabia have introduced a series of reforms in the past 18 months
  • MSCI’s Emerging Market index is tracked by about $2 trillion in active and global funds

LONDON: Saudi Arabian equites are poised to attract up to $40 billion worth of foreign inflows, following a landmark decision by index provider MSCI to include the Kingdom’s stocks in its widely tracked Emerging Markets index.

"MSCI will include the MSCI Saudi Arabia Index in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, representing on a pro forma basis a weight of approximately 2.6% of the index with 32 securities, following a two-step inclusion process," the MSCI said in a statement late on Wednesday night Riyadh time.

“Saudi Arabia’s inclusion in MSCI’s EM Index is a milestone achievement and will likely bring with it significant levels of foreign investment,” Salah Shamma, head of investment for MENA at Franklin Templeton Emerging Markets Equity, told Arab News. 

“It is a recognition of the progress Saudi Arabia has made in implementing its ambitious capital markets transformation agenda. The halo effect of such a move will be felt across the stock exchanges of the entire Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).”

Market authorities in Saudi Arabia have introduced a series of reforms in the past 18 months to bring local capital markets more in line with international norms, including lower restrictions on international investors, and the introduction of short-selling and T+2 settlement cycles.

Such reforms prompted index provider FTSE Russell to upgrade the Kingdom to emerging market status in March, opening the country’s stocks up to billions worth of passive and active inflows from foreign investors.

MSCI’s Emerging Market index is tracked by about $2 trillion in active and global funds. The inclusion of Saudi stocks in the index, alongside FTSE Russell’s upgrade, is forecast to attract as much as $45 billion of foreign inflows from passive and active investors, according to estimates from Egyptian investment bank EFG Hermes. 

The upgrade announcement was widely expected by the region’s investment community, following a similar emerging markets upgrade announcement by fellow index provider FTSE Russell in March. 

“MSCI index inclusion will be a historic milestone for the Saudi market as it will allow for sticky institutional money to make an entry in 2019 which will help deepen the market,” said John Sfakianakis, director of economic research at the Gulf Research Center in Riyadh.