Goldman Sachs gets nod to trade equities in Saudi Arabia

Goldman, which has been operating in the kingdom since 2009 as an agent and underwriter, applied to the Saudi Capital Market Authority (CMA) for a license to trade equities. (AP)
Updated 20 August 2017
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Goldman Sachs gets nod to trade equities in Saudi Arabia

DUBAI: Goldman Sachs received approval on Sunday to trade equities in Saudi Arabia, joining the growing band of western investment banks and fund managers expanding in the kingdom.
Western financial institutions have been looking to tap new opportunities in Saudi Arabia since the government unveiled plans for oil giant Saudi Aramco’s $100 billion initial public offering and introduced reforms to attract foreign capital as part of moves to reduce the economy’s dependence on oil.
Goldman, which has been operating in the kingdom since 2009 as an agent and underwriter, applied to the Saudi Capital Market Authority (CMA) for a license to trade equities, sources told Reuters in June.
In a statement on Sunday, the regulator said it had approved a request by Goldman to amend its business in the kingdom and that the bank was now authorized for principal dealing, fund and portfolio management and advisory and custody activities.
A source familiar with the matter confirmed that the license was for the approval of equities trading.
Citigroup obtained a Saudi investment banking license in April, which will allow it to return to the kingdom after more than 13 years, while Credit Suisse is seeking a Saudi license to build a fully-fledged onshore private banking business.
It is the second time in three years Goldman has changed its services in Saudi Arabia. In 2014 the CMA authorized it to arrange, advise and manage investment funds and portfolios, according to its website.
The Saudi stock exchange opened itself to direct investment by foreign institutions in mid-2015 and last year eased restrictions on foreign ownership in its stock market to improve the investment environment.
International firms such as BlackRock, Citigroup, HSBC and Ashmore Group have since been among those to join the list of institutional investors that can directly trade the market.
In an attempt to secure a role on Aramco’s IPO, Goldman bought a portion of the oil company’s $10 billion credit facility, Reuters reported this month, citing sources.


Instagram moves into e-commerce with shopping button

Updated 16 sec ago
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Instagram moves into e-commerce with shopping button

  • A new “checkout” button for instant purchasing launched in a beta version of the app in the US with a limited number of businesses
  • Facebook makes the bulk of its money from digital advertising but has dabbled with e-commerce in the past

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook-owned Instagram on Tuesday made a move into potentially lucrative e-commerce by adding an option to buy products shown off in posts by selected brands.
A new “checkout” button for instant purchasing launched in a beta version of the app in the US with a limited number of businesses, according to the popular image-centric messaging service.
“We’re introducing Checkout on Instagram,” the Silicon Valley based division of Facebook said in an online post.
“When you find a product you love, you can now buy it without leaving the app.”
Tapping the checkout button will allow shoppers to select options such as size or color and then pay for items without leaving the Instagram app.
Previously, people inspired to buy products featured in Instagram posts had to follow links to outside online shopping sites.
Information entered for an initial purchase will be stored for future use, according to Instagram.
It remained to be seen how people would feel trusting information such as credit card details to a service owned by Facebook, which has been hit with waves of criticism for its handling of personal data.
Brands taking part in the checkout feature included Adidas, Burberry, Dior, H&M, Nike, Oscar de la Renta, Prada, and glasses retailer Warby Parker.
Facebook makes the bulk of its money from digital advertising but has dabbled with e-commerce in the past. It has pitched its Messenger service as a communication platform for shops or brands to connect with customers.