Saudi Arabia to list $6.7m petrochemical fund

08 July 2010

Fund will include 14 companies

Saudi Arabian investment bank Falcom Financial Services will list an exchange-traded fund (ETF) for petrochemical shares on the kingdom’s stock exchange (Tadawul) on 10 July.

The Falcom Petrochemical ETF will have an initial value of SAR25m ($6.7m) and will encompass 14 local petrochemical companies, including Saudi Basic Industries Corp (Sabic).

It is only the second such fund to launch on the Tadawul, but it is not yet clear if it will be accessible to foreigners.  

Falcom Saudi Equity became the first ETF to list on 28 March and marked a significant milestone in efforts to open up the exchange by allowing direct international investment.

Previously, non-resident foreigners were only permitted to trade in local stocks through Saudi intermediaries, otherwise known as swap agreements. These had been introduced in August 2008.

Home to more than a fifth of global oil reserves, the kingdom ranks as the world’s top oil exporter.

With a market capitalisation of $319.59bn at the end of June this year, the Tadawul represents just under half of the market share of GCC markets, but has traditionally been the most restrictive. It has attracted just $4bn in foreign investment to date.

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