Saudi foreign investor licenses more than double

The number of foreign investor licenses issued in Saudi Arabia in the second quarter more than doubled on a year earlier, led by the construction sector. (AFP/File Photo)
Updated 11 September 2019

Saudi foreign investor licenses more than double

  • UK, India and US top three recipients
  • French investment bank Natixis wins license

LONDON: The number of foreign investor licenses issued in Saudi Arabia in the second quarter more than doubled on a year earlier, led by the construction sector.
Some 291 new foreign investor licenses were issued in the period according to the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA). Construction took the lion’s share of the new permits, followed by ICT and manufacturing.
The Kingdom is ushering in a slew of economic reforms under its Vision 2030 blueprint for social and economic change which has a heavy emphasis on making it easier to do business and cutting red tape. Among those reforms is allowing 100 percent foreign ownership in a range of new sectors.
Two thirds of the new foreign investor licenses in the period were for ventures with full foreign ownership.
“These figures demonstrate the clear momentum we are seeing in foreign investment in Saudi Arabia,” said Majed Al-Qasabi, Minister of Commerce and Investment. “We continue to pursue further reforms to make it easier for international investors to play a role in our economic transformation in the years to come – bringing jobs, growth and opportunity to Saudi citizens.”
The influx of foreign companies coincides with greater overseas interest in trading Saudi companies listed on the Tadawul.
On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority said it licensed Natixis, the French investment bank, to operate in the Kingdom through Natixis Saudi Arabia Investment Company. Earlier in the year, Credit Suisse, another french bank was also awarded a license.
Tadawul expects additional passive funds’ inflows worth $3 billion from the remaining phases of inclusion in the FTSE Russell emerging market index starting in September, Reuters reported this week, citing chairwoman Sarah Al-Suhaimi.


Egypt expects several share offerings by end of year

Updated 15 September 2019

Egypt expects several share offerings by end of year

  • One small company worth about 50 million Egyptian pounds was also expected to offer shares on the Nile Stock Exchange

CAIRO: Egypt expects two state companies and one private pharmaceuticals firm worth more than $61.3 million, or one billion Egyptian pounds, to make share offerings by the end of the year, an official at the Financial Regulatory Authority said on Sunday.
One small company worth about 50 million Egyptian pounds was also expected to offer shares on the Nile Stock Exchange, which specializes in small and medium sized enterprises, said Sayed Abdel Fadeel, head of the authority’s corporate finance department. He did not name the companies.
Egypt promised to sell minority stakes in several state companies in late 2018 but postponed the offerings following emerging market turbulence.