CMA Removes Limits on Foreign Ownership of Stocks in Listed Companies
June 28, 2019
As part of Vision 2030's long-term economic development strategy, The Capital Market Authority (CMA) approved on Wednesday June 26, 2019 "Instructions for Foreign Strategic Investors' Ownership in Listed Companies", effectively removing any maximum or minimum limit on the ownership percentage for foreign investors in listed companies on the Saudi stock exchange.
These newly approved instructions were designed to target foreign legal persons who wish to acquire strategic stakes on listed companies for the purpose of enhancing the financial and operational performance of these companies in the long-term.
H.E. Mr. Mohammed Elkuwaiz, Chairman of CMA stated that, "CMA has approved these Instructions as part of opening up the capital market and the Saudi economy to the outside world, as we noticed a growing interest from foreign strategic investors to invest in companies listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange".
Since the beginning of 2019, the Saudi Stock Exchange has witnessed increasing foreign cash flows following the inclusion of the Saudi Stock Exchange in emerging markets index. The number of Qualified Foreign Investors (QFIs) increased by 163.7% totaling 1,195 investors as of June 20, 2019, in comparison to 453 investors at the beginning of the current year. Moreover, the ownership percentage of foreign investors in the Saudi capital market has reached 7% as of June 20, 2019, compared to only 4.7% at the beginning of this year.