HSBC gets license to buy Saudi stocks directly

HSBC gets license to buy Saudi stocks directly
Updated 15 June 2015

HSBC gets license to buy Saudi stocks directly

HSBC gets license to buy Saudi stocks directly

DUBAI: HSBC Holdings has received a qualified foreign investor license in Saudi Arabia and traded shares on the bourse on Monday, the first day that direct foreign investment was allowed, the bank told Reuters.
Saudi Arabia's Capital Market Authority has not yet announced any license awards, but stock exchange Chief Executive Adel Al-Ghamdi told Reuters in London that the first transaction by a qualified foreign investor was due to take place on Monday. He did not name the investor.
"Today marks one of the most important moments in the history of Saudi financial markets and HSBC is pleased to have played a role in supporting their development," HSBC said in a written response to Reuters questions.
Previously, foreigners could only buy stocks in the $564 billion market, the largest in the Arab world, indirectly through channels such as swaps. Riyadh is opening the market as a way to expose companies to market discipline and diversify its economy beyond oil.
Two sources familiar with the matter said HSBC was the first institution to get a foreign investor licence and was trading with the identity code of 0001, supporting the idea it had received the first licence.
One of the sources added it had traded in blue-chip stocks, without detailing which ones or the size of the trades.
Al-Ghamdi also said regulators were processing six applications from "very large institutions" and "there might be a spike of involvement from foreign investors over the next two or three months".