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Saudi foreign investor licenses more than double.

The number of foreign investor licenses issued in Saudi Arabia in the second quarter more than doubled on a year earlier, led by the construction sector. (AFP/File Photo)

LONDON: The number of foreign investor licenses issued in Saudi Arabia in the second quarter more than doubled on a year earlier, led by the construction sector. Some 291 new foreign investor licenses were issued in the period according to the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA). Construction took the lion's share of the new permits, followed by ICT and manufacturing. The Kingdom is ushering in a slew of economic reforms under its Vision 2030 blueprint for social and economic change which has a heavy emphasis on making it easier to do business and cutting red tape. Among those reforms is allowing 100 percent foreign ownership in a range of new sectors. Two thirds of the new foreign investor licenses in the period were for ventures with full foreign ownership. "These figures demonstrate the clear momentum we are seeing in foreign investment in Saudi Arabia," said Majed Al-Qasabi, Minister of Commerce and Investment. "We continue to pursue further reforms to make it easier for international investors to play a role in our economic transformation in the years to come -- bringing jobs, growth and opportunity to Saudi citizens." The influx of foreign companies coincides with greater overseas interest in trading Saudi companies listed on the Tadawul. On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia's Capital Market Authority said it licensed Natixis, the French investment bank, to operate in the Kingdom through Natixis Saudi Arabia Investment Company. Earlier in the year, Credit Suisse, another french bank was also awarded a license. Tadawul expects additional passive funds' inflows worth $3 billion from the remaining phases of inclusion in the FTSE Russell emerging market index starting in September, Reuters reported this week, citing chairwoman Sarah Al-Suhaimi.

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Geographic Code:7SAUD
Date:Sep 11, 2019
Words:322
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