MSCI to launch standalone Saudi Arabia stock index

MSCI will start a standalone equity benchmark for Saudi Arabia with 19 companies as the kingdom opens up the Arab world’s largest stock exchange to foreign direct investments,

The MSCI Saudi Arabia Index, which will become effective at the beginning of next month, will include Saudi Basic Industries Corp, the world’s top petrochemicals manufacturer by sales, and Al Rajhi Bank, the largest Shariah-compliant lender in the kingdom. The New York-based index provider will also offer a Saudi Arabia small-cap gauge with 39 members, according to a statement on Tuesday.

The start of the indexes comes as Opec’s biggest exporter is opening its stock market, among the least accessible to foreigners, as King Salman pushes ahead with efforts to diversify the economy away from oil. The Riyadh-based Capital Market Authority issued market opening regulations on May 4, seeking to attract institutional investors and to become included in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.

The earliest Saudi Arabia could be included in the MSCI’s developing-market gauge is June 2017, Robert Ansari, executive director and head of Mideast client coverage team at MSCI, said on May 5 in Riyadh. The kingdom may account for 4 per cent of the gauge, Sebastien Lieblich, executive director at MSCI Index Research, said in July.

The foreign investment rules will go into effect on June 1 and the market will open on June 15, the CMA said last month. MSCI’s gauges are tracked by investors managing about $9 trillion in assets.

The companies to be included in the MSCI Saudi Arabia Index are:

• Al Rajhi Banking & Inv

• Al Tayyar Travel Group

• Alinma Bank

• Almarai Co

• Arab National Bank

• Banque Saudi Fransi

• Etihad Etisalat Co

• Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair

• National Comm Bank

• Rabigh Refining & Petro

• Riyad Bank

• Samba Financial Group

• Saudi Arab Fertilizer

• Saudi Arabian Mining Co

• Saudi Basic Ind Corp

• Saudi Electricity Co

• Saudi Telecom Co

• Savola

• Yanbu Natl Petrochemical

The companies to be included in the MSCI Saudi Arabia Small Cap Index are:

• Abdul Mohsen Al‐Hokair

• Abdullah Al Othaim Mkt

• Advanced Petrochemicals

• Al Abdullatif Indl Inv

• Al Hammadi Development

• Al Jouf Cement

• Al Mouwasat Medical Svcs

• Al‐Hassan G.i. Shaker Co

• Arabian Cement (Sa)

• Arriyadh Construction

• Aseer

• Astra Industrial Group

• Bawan

• Bupa Arabia For Copr Ins

• City Cement

• Co For Cooperative Ins

• Dallah Healthcare Hldg

• Dur Hospitality

• Eastern Province Cement

• Hail Cement

• Herfy Food Services

• Mediterranean & Gulf Ins

• Najran Cement

• National Agri Dev (The)

• National Medical Care

• Northern Region Cement

• Red Sea Housing Svcs Co

• Saudi Ceramic

• Saudi Chemical Co

• Saudi Dairy & Foodstuff

• Saudi Marketing

• Saudi Pharmaceutical Ind

• Saudi Public Transport

• Saudi Real Estate Co

• Tabuk Cement Co

• The Qassim Cement Co

• United Electronics

• United Intl Transport

• Zamil Industrial Inv

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