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Meshari Al-Khaled

S&P Global Ratings begins Saudi operations

RIYADH, October 23, 2017

S&P Global Ratings today announced the expansion of its operations in the Middle East with the opening of a branch in Saudi Arabia's capital, Riyadh. 
 
Having received its final license from Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority (CMA), S&P Global Ratings becomes the first international credit rating agency to be licensed to conduct credit rating activities in the kingdom. 
 
S&P Global Ratings was the first international credit rating agency to obtain pre-approval from the CMA in October 2016, a statement said.
 
Saudi National Meshari Al-Khaled has been appointed S&P Global Ratings’ Managing Director and Office Head for its Saudi Arabian branch, which is located in Kingdom Tower in central Riyadh. 
 
John Berisford, President of S&P Global Ratings, commented: “S&P Global Ratings has been involved in the development of the world’s financial markets for over 150 years and we are pleased to expand our presence in the Middle East through the establishment of an office in Saudi Arabia. 
 
“The CMA’s 2020 ambitious enabling program presents significant opportunities for the country and investors alike. As the first international credit rating agency in the country, we are pleased to be able to facilitate access to capital for governments and companies and look forward to supporting the further development of transparent and liquid debt markets in the Kingdom. 
 
“I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the CMA, SAGIA and other government ministries who have supported our establishment in this important market and look forward to working more closely with all parties to help provide access to a deeper pool of capital.”
 
S&P Global Ratings’ entry into Saudi Arabia comes at a time of unprecedented economic and social reform, as the kingdom’s leadership seeks to implement Saudi Vision 2030. The development of the private sector is a key component of this vision and there are a variety of measures, including economic diversification, privatizations, infrastructure investment and a reduction in government subsidies that are being implemented to achieve it. International investors have a significant role to play, and S&P Global Ratings can contribute through the application of rigorous standards of analysis to support and accelerate foreign investment decisions. 
 
Meshari Al Khaled, Managing Director for S&P Global Ratings in Saudi Arabia, commented: “I am excited to be leading S&P Global Ratings’ expansion into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Having spent the last 11 years attracting and facilitating the entry of Foreign Direct Investments into Saudi Arabia through SAGIA and 10 years before that with ABN Amro/Alawwal Bank’s Investment Banking unit, I am now eager to support the development of the Kingdom’s economy working with S&P Global Ratings, whose credit ratings play a key role in enabling corporations and governments to raise capital.
 
“As Saudi Arabia’s capital markets evolve to match the size of the country’s economy, there is a prime potential for greater debt issuance. Only 15 per cent of listed companies in Saudi Arabia have a credit rating so there is a significant opportunity for S&P Global Ratings to serve investors through our objective evaluation of risk for governments, corporates and financial institutions.”
 
As the world’s leading provider of credit ratings, S&P Global Ratings has more than one million credit ratings outstanding. It has had a presence in the Middle East since 2008 and currently rates governments, financial institutions and corporates. S&P Global offers a comprehensive suite of intelligence tools through its four business divisions, S&P Global Ratings, S&P Global Market Intelligence, S&P Dow Jones Indices and S&P Global Platts, all of which have a presence in the Middle East. 
 
The official launch of S&P Global Ratings Saudi Arabian operations was celebrated at a formal event in Riyadh today (October 23). It was attended by senior Government officials from different ministries and authorities, as well as executives from publicly-listed companies, financial institutions and advisers.  - TradeArabia News Service



Tags: Saudi Arabia | S&P Global ratings |

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