2005 News Story

Saudi bourse thriving on successful IPOs

Chairman of the Consultancy Center for Finance and Investment Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Dakheel, in a statement promoting the first capital market forum scheduled for April 19-20 in Riyadh, reported that the total value of stocks exchanged on the Saudi bourse soared to a record SR1,770 billion [U.S. $470 billion] last year from SR65 billion [$17.36 billion] in 2000. This, he said, is largely due to the initial public offerings (IPOs) that have been issued. The growth is also a reflection of Saudi investors’ increasing confidence in the market, brought about by the Capital Markets Law.

It is estimated that the number of investors in the Saudi bourse rose to 2.5 million after the recent flotation of Bank Al-Bilad shares, demonstrating the desire of Saudis to invest their money in the Kingdom rather than abroad. By the end of 2005, the number of listed companies is expected to reach 100, up from the current 74. Senior economist at the National Commercial Bank Dr. Nahed Taher predicts that companies listed on the Saudi stock market will report for fiscal 2004 profits totaling some SR38 billion [$10.15 billion]. By the end of August 2004, she said, the assets of participating companies were over SR576 billion [$153.8 billion], and about half of these are exchanged in the market.

Meanwhile, within the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), market capitalization rose in FY2004 to $522 billion from $120 billion in 2000.