Saudi stock exchange unveils more reforms to boost investor confidence

Investors look at the boards at the Tadawul exchange in Saudi Arabia. (Reuters)
Updated 11 January 2018
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Saudi stock exchange unveils more reforms to boost investor confidence

LONDON: Tadawul, the Saudi stock exchange has announced another round of reforms designed to widen its appeal to domestic, regional and international investors — part of the Kingdom’s accelerating modernization drive.
The latest measures are designed to lift market efficiency, boost investor security and access, as well as improve liquidity in Saudi capital markets.
Last year was a groundbreaking one for Tadawul which, in conjunction with the Capital Market Authority (CMA), implemented far-ranging reforms, including introducing IFRS accounting standards for all listed companies, laying the groundwork domestic IPOs, and adopting tighter rules on corporate governance.
The latest measures take in, among other things, the updating of the Independent Custody Model (ICM) to enhance Qualified Foreign Investor access to the market by providing more flexibility in trading limits for ICM clients.
Along with this change, new procedures will be introduced to mitigate credit risk associated with the settlement process for all participants. Changes to the ICM and the introduction of the option for asset managers to aggregate orders are set to be implemented on Jan. 21, 2018.
Other changes involving the methods for determining opening and closing prices are scheduled to be implemented by the second quarter of 2018.
“The cumulative impact of these measures will be a more efficient, liquid and secure market for investors and intermediaries that is further aligned to international best practices,” said Khalid Abdullah Al-Hussan, CEO of Tadawul.
He added: “These measures and reforms are creating a more attractive investment climate for domestic and international investors alike and have attracted more than 100 major financial institutions to open accounts in the Kingdom.”


Shell, Exxon not to seek compensation for end of Dutch gas field production

Updated 25 June 2018
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Shell, Exxon not to seek compensation for end of Dutch gas field production

AMSTERDAM: Energy companies Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil will not submit a claim for missed revenue due to the Dutch government's decision to halt gas production at the Groningen field by 2030, the Dutch ministry of Economic Affairs said on Monday.
"A lot of gas will be left in the ground," Economy minister Eric Wiebes said at the presentation of his deal with the oil majors responsible for extracting Groningen gas.
"That gas is the property of the oil companies, but they will not submit a claim and the government is not required to compensate them."
The Dutch government in March said it would end gas production at the Groningen field by the end of the next decade, in an effort to stop a string of relatively small, but damaging earthquakes caused by gas extraction.
This will leave around 450 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas in the ground, Wiebes said, with an estimated value of approximately €70 billion ($81.5 billion).
The decision to halt Groningen production forced the government to broker a new deal with Shell and Exxon Mobil, whose 50-50 joint venture NAM is responsible for the field.
NAM will be required to pump as much gas as the government says is needed in the coming years. In return, it will see its share of the revenue from Groningen rise from 10 to 27 percent, Wiebes said, starting this year.
As part of the deal, NAM will also contribute a total of €500 million to strengthen the economy in the Groningen region.