RIYADH: Increasing appetite to list on Saudi bourses displays the robust market performance of the G20 economies, noted top executive of a financial advisory and asset management firm.
Speaking at the second edition of the Saudi Capital Forum in Riyadh on Sunday, Lazard’s investment banking CEO for the Middle East and North Africa Wassim Alkhatib said that the Saudi capital market is a reflection of a very strong G20 economy and has over 200-250 listed companies.
This comes as the Kingdom witnessed a migration of around SR43 billion ($11.5 billion) from foreign investors in 2022.
“In 2022, what we saw is continued migration of capital from the international investment community into the region, and specifically on the Tadawul stock exchange,” said Alkhatib.
Despite the unprecedented global challenges being faced by nations over the past year, he said the Saudi capital market has proven to be resilient.
“In addition to the global inflationary environment, the cascading effects of Ukraine and the invasion of Ukraine, and the recycling of capital and rotation out of certain sectors and into several regions, Tadawul was ultimately a very big winner,” the Lazard chief noted.
Alkhatib pointed out that there are robust and appealing opportunities for both local and international investors across the 20 sectors of the Saudi stock exchange, also known as Tadawul.
He said such investors would be able to take advantage of the deep liquidity and the sturdy fundamentals of the Tadawul sectors.
“That becomes a very easy conversation to explain to investors that it’s not just about them parking their capital in a safe region, but there are also very attractive commercial opportunities,” noted Alkhatib.
As for the Saudi initial public offerings pipeline, it experienced one its most remarkable years in 2022 transforming Saudi Arabia into a leading listings market worldwide.
“And if you look at the sectors of those companies, they are actually quite diverse. They cater to all asset managers, different fund managers covering emerging markets or technology or retail or oil and gas and petrochemicals,” added Alkhatib.
Moreover, Lazard’s CEO believes that “the market is very likely to continue to be a very prominent recipient hub of international flows.”
This year’s SCM Forum brings together issuers, investors and capital market institutions to discuss key structural changes happening across one of the fastest-growing capital markets internationally.
The event opens the floor for central opinion leaders, investors, issuers, and governmental institutions, and ends with the presentation of the SCM Awards.
Taking place in Riyadh from Feb. 12 to 13, the forum is held under the patronage of the Chairman of the Board of the CMA, Mohammed A El-Kuwaiz.