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Saudi Arabia: Waiting on the King
07 May 2012
Saudi Arabia is a highly attractive proposition for international investors. Whether hopes turn into reality will depend on the monarch’s willingness to open up the country’s markets, writes Paul Golden
Overseas investors, encouraged by indications from the Saudi Arabian regulator that it is committed to liberalisation, have been casting envious glances at the recent feverish activity on the desert kingdom’s stock exchange. But the question still remains when, or even if, they will be allowed to realise its undoubted investment potential.
Almost every other nation on earth would swap its financial position for that of Saudi Arabia. A report by Jadwa Investment’s head of research, Paul Gamble, published earlier this year suggested that the kingdom’s real GDP would grow this year despite an expected drop in oil prices. Expansion in the construction (8%), transport & communication (7%) and government (6.7%) sectors were expected to offset negative growth in the hydrocarbon sector to result in overall GDP growth of 3.3%.
The IMF is slightly more optimistic than Jadwa on GDP growth for 2012, predicting an increase of...
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