Minister of Finance and National Economy Dr. Ibrahim Bin Abdulaziz Al-Assaf announced today that new regulations allow non-Saudis to participate in local investments controlled by Saudi banks. This decision, he said, comes within the framework of the desire of the government of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz and Crown Prince Abdullah to strengthen and develop the Kingdom's stock market. He added that this is a practical translation of the government's trends whose goals are to improve the environment of domestic investment. Dr. Al-Assaf pointed out that although this decision will provide non-Saudi investors with a variety of channels to invest in, these channels vary in their benefits and risks.
Dr. Al-Assaf went on to say that the decision also took into account the desire of foreign investors to participate in the Saudi stock market, and this will be done through a controlled mechanism that will guarantee the market's equilibrium. The Saudi stock market is the largest in the Middle East in terms of value, at around just over U.S. $ 50 billion. Saudi banks currently operate 119 investment portfolios, few of which specialize in local stocks.