Saudi stocks surge as authorities end ban on world’s investors

SAUDI authorities announced yesterday that the largest equities market in the Middle East would be opened to international investors from next year, a first for the oil-rich economy.

The Tadawul index climbed to a six-year high following the news, pushing up 2.82 per cent to 10,025.14, the first time the 10,000 mark has been passed since the global financial crisis.

Until now, the bourse has been limited to investors either from the kingdom or the neighbouring Gulf states. Banks and other groups from the rest of the world have been limited to exchange-traded funds and other vehicles to gain access.

MSCI, which draws together major indices of stock market performance, said that it would consult on adding the Tadawul to an index, assuming that the government did move ahead with the reform next year. With a capitalisation of more than $500bn (£293.2bn), the market would be a major addition to the group’s emerging market index.

On Monday, a report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) boosted Saudi Arabia’s growth forecast for 2014 to 4.6 per cent.

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