Saudi Arabia to allow foreigners to own up to 49% of listed stocks

The Saudi stock exchange, known as the Tadawul, is set to be home to part of the world’s biggest initial public offering. (Reuters)
Updated 09 January 2018
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Saudi Arabia to allow foreigners to own up to 49% of listed stocks

LONDON: Foreign investors will be allowed to own up to 49 percent of shares on the Saudi stock market, according to a document published by the local regulator.

The Capital Market Authority (CMA) said that a single qualified foreign investor (QFI) would be allowed to hold as much as 10 percent of shares in a company or debt instrument.

In aggregate, foreign investors will be allowed to hold up to 49 percent of shares or debt, according to the CMA document.

Each QFI “may not own 10 percent or more of the shares of any issuer whose shares are listed or convertible debt instrument of the issuer,” the CMA said.

The CMA said in May 2016 it would raise the limit on how much of a single company can be owned by a single QFI to 10 percent from 5 percent.

“The maximum proportion of the shares of any issuer whose shares are listed or convertible debt instrument of the issuer that may be owned by all foreign investors (in all categories, whether residents or non-residents) in aggregate is 49 percent,” it said in a statement published Tuesday.

With the exception of government and government-related entities, applicants must have assets under management or custody of SR1.875 billion ($500 million), the CMA said.

The move comes as the Kingdom looks to open up its market to more foreign investment.

The Saudi stock exchange, known as the Tadawul, is set to be home to part of the world’s biggest initial public offering should plans to list part of Saudi Aramco go ahead.


Saudi Aramco aims to buy controlling stake in SABIC — sources

Updated 23 July 2018
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Saudi Aramco aims to buy controlling stake in SABIC — sources

  • Riyadh-listed SABIC, the world’s fourth-biggest petrochemicals firm, has a market capitalization of 385.2 billion Saudi riyals
  • The potential acquisition would affect the time frame of Aramco’s planned initial public offering set for later this year

DUBAI: Saudi Aramco aims to buy a controlling stake in petrochemical maker SABIC, possibly taking the entire 70 percent stake owned by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Late last week Aramco confirmed a Reuters report that it was working on a possible purchase of a “strategic stake” in Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) from the Public Investment Fund, the kingdom’s top sovereign wealth fund.
Aramco’s initial thinking is to buy the full stake owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), but if that fails to materialize Aramco could end up with a stake in SABIC of more than 50 percent, making it a majority owner, the sources said.
No final decision has been made on the size of the stake as the discussions are still at a very early stage, they added.
Aramco declined to comment. The PIF did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.
Riyadh-listed SABIC, the world’s fourth-biggest petrochemicals firm, has a market capitalization of 385.2 billion Saudi riyals ($103 billion).
The potential acquisition would affect the time frame of Aramco’s planned initial public offering set for later this year, the state oil giant’s chief executive, Amin Nasser, said in a TV interview on Friday.
Aramco plans to boost investments in refining and petrochemicals to secure new markets and sees growth in chemicals as central to its downstream strategy to cut the risk of an oil demand slowdown.
Aramco plans to raise its refining capacity to between 8 million and 10 million barrels per day, from around 5 million bpd now, and double its petrochemicals production by 2030.
Aramco, the world’s largest oil producer, pumps around 10 million bpd of crude oil.