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Saudi Arabia allows expatriates to buy shares


Saudi Arabia allows expatriates to buy shares


For the first time Saudi Arabia is to allow foreign residents in the country to buy shares directly on its stock market. The move is intended to boost demand.

In a major downwards correction, the Saudi bourse had lost nearly a third of its value since late February.

It pulled out of that decline last week when the idea of allowing foreigners to invest was first floated.

But they will not be able to buy shares when a company first goes public and banker Wadah Al Taha said: “The question is how much will they be able to invest in the Saudi bourse. I think they would be more tempted by new listings than investing in the market itself.”

He also pointed out that there was no cost to the Saudi government to do this.

There are around six million foreigners working in Saudi Arabia and economists estimate they earn 29 billion euros a year.

More than 12 billion of that money is transferred out of the country as remittances by expatriates from the Indian subcontinent, the Philippines and other Middle Eastern countries such as Egypt and Lebanon.

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