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Saudi eases foreign investor access to capital markets

RIYADH, January 10, 2018

The Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority (CMA) has amended rules governing the kingdom’s qualified foreign investor (QFI) programme making it easier for foreign financial institutions and their managed funds and subsidiaries to qualify, and expanding the range of institutional investors eligible for the program.
The key changes to existing rules include:
•Eliminating the requirement for CMA review and approval of QFI qualification
•Lowering the assets under management (AUM) requirement for QFIs from $1billion to $500 million
•Automatically qualifying subsidiaries and managed funds of QFI applicants without the need to submit separate applications
•Easing of some continuous obligation requirements of QFIs.
Other key capital market reforms implemented by CMA in 2017 include:
•Introduction of NOMU, a parallel equity market for Qualified Investors - Tadawul introduced NOMU, the CMA allowed foreign investors access
•The introduction of T+2 settlement
•Enabling securities borrowing and lending "SBL" and short selling
•Adoption of new corporate governance rules
•Adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for listed companies on the Saudi Stock Exchange
•Enabling foreign participation in Saudi domestic IPOs
•Adoption of updated regulations governing Mergers and Acquisitions
The move comes as part of CMA's strategic objectives to develop the capital market and expand the institutional investments, said a statement from the Authority.

The amended rules for QFI qualification will come into force starting from January 23.-TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Saudi Arabia | CMA | foreign investors | capital markets |

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