- A broker monitors stock prices on a screen at the Saudi Investment Bank in Riyadh. Saudi Arabia plans to open its stock market, the Arab world’s biggest, to direct investment by foreign financial institutions in the first half of next year.
The Wall Street Journal lists the top 10 companies by market value that might interest foreign investors once the market is opened up for direct investment.
Of course, foreigners would still need to qualify to invest in the market. And the regulator also plans to impose foreign ownership limits that could be restrictive – such as an aggregate cap of 10% by market value, which includes any interests under swaps as well.
The Tadawul, as the market is known as, boasts of some of the biggest companies listed in the region. Not surprisingly, the list is headed by Sabic – with a market cap of about $103 billion, the petchem giant on its own dwarfs several other regional markets by value.
Other heavyweights on the list include the likes of Al Rajhi Bank, the biggest Islamic lender in the region, and Kingdom Holding, the investment firm controlled by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. Kingdom owns shares in several international companies such as Apple Inc., Twitter, Citigroup Inc., Time Warner Inc. and News Corp, owner of Dow Jones & Co., the publisher of The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires.
Top 10 Companies by Market Value (USD, Billion)
Saudi Telecom 39.2
Al Rajhi Bank 31.4
Kingdom Holding 22.7
Saudi Electricity Co. 18.9
Etihad Etisalat 18.2
Riyad Bank 17.7
Samba Financial Group 15.7
Saudi Arabian Fertilizer Co. 14.7
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(via WSJ Blogs)