HSBC, Citigroup Among Those Directly Investing in Saudi Stocks

  • Regulator names QFI license holders in e-mailed statement
  • BlackRock, Ashmore, Silchester International on List of 9 QFIs

HSBC Holdings Plc and Citigroup Inc. are among nine qualified foreign institutions licensed to invest in Saudi Arabian stocks directly, according to the Capital Market Authority.

Two BlackRock Inc. entities and two Ashmore Group Plc units are also among those registered with the Riyadh-based market regulator, according to an e-mailed statement. The disclosure is part of the CMA’s plan to raise governance and transparency standards and increase the level of communication with investors.

Almost a year after Saudi Arabia allowed foreigners to invest in stocks directly, QFIs own less than 1 percent of the market, well below their 10 percent limit. The kingdom’s equities, the region’s worst performers so far this year, have fallen with oil prices as sinking crude revenue forced the government to halt projects. The nation has announced plans to further diversify its economy and deepen its financial markets. It will sell less than 5 percent of Saudi Arabian Oil Co., also known as Aramco, in an initial public offering by 2018.

Silchester International Investors LLP, Unlu Menkul Degerler AS and La Francaise Asset Management are also registered with the CMA.

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