Study: Kingdom has four of top 10 most valuable MENA brands

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Updated 23 June 2013
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Study: Kingdom has four of top 10 most valuable MENA brands

Four of the Middle East’s top 10 most valuable brands are from Saudi Arabia, more than any other country, according to a recent study published by Brand Finance, described as the world’s largest independent intangible assets and brand valuation consultancy.
The study ranks the top 50 brands in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) by their brand value. The $ 13.218 billion combined value of the 14 Saudi brands to feature constitutes 34 percent of the total value ($ 39.33 billion) of the top 50 MENA brands.
Saudi Telecom Company (STC), with $ 3.31 billion brand value, is ranked third in the 50 MENA brands list and holds the No. 1 position in the Kingdom. Other Saudi brands on the list include Mobily ($ 2.511 billion), Almarai ($ 1.505 billion), Al-Rajhi Bank ($ 1.192 billion) and Saudi Basic Industries Corporation ($ 979 million).
The top 10 of the annual list has generally been dominated by Emirates as well as telecom and bank brands. However this year there is a remarkable achievement from Saudi food brand Almarai, becoming the first non-bank and non-telecom brand to break into the top 10.
Almarai is clearly affirming its position as the most valuable food brand in the Middle East, with a astonishing brand value growth of 60 percent.
Of the 50 brands, 29 are from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, constituting 70 percent of the total brand value, a clear indication of the dominance of the two business powerhouses of the Middle East. The Kingdom has 14 brands in the top 50 compared to the UAE’s 15, but there are more Saudi brands in the top 10 and the Kingdom recorded the highest national brand value growth (11 percent).
Hany Mwafy, managing director, Brand Finance Middle East, said: "With offices in more than 22 countries, Brand Finance publishes its annual global and regional studies of the most valuable brands providing the business community with insights on top brands globally and as per markets. This MENA study being conducted annually since 2009 serves as a benchmark of top MENA brands according to sectors and countries."
The Brand Finance study was published in the MENA region in collaboration with Virtue PR & Marketing Communications.


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.