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Saudi Arabia makes small steps to opening
07 May 2014
Saudi Arabia has yet to welcome foreign investors with open arms but there are signs on the ground that preparations are being made, writes Hardeep Dhillon
The opening of Saudi Arabia to foreign investors remains one of
the most anticipated events in global finance.
There have been many instances in the past five years when the
kingdom appeared to come close to allowing direct foreign
ownership of domestic equities, but so far they have all come
to nothing. Could this time be different?
Saudi Arabia has restricted ownership for cultural and economic
reasons, explains Abdullah Alawi, head of research at Aljazira
For some, foreign ownership of assets is not appropriate in a
country containing the world's most holy Muslim sites. For
others, of a more traditional protectionist persuasion, it is
about control of the economy.
In any case, the abundance of petrodollar deposits in the
banking system has lowered the importance of raising money from
foreign investors. There is also an air of caution and
protectionism borne out of fear that hot money flows...
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