Economics Editor, Europe, Middle East and Africa
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Aug 21, 2014

Saudis propose 10 pct foreign ownership cap for bourse

DUBAI, Aug 21 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s stock market
regulator proposed rules on Thursday for opening the $580
billion market to direct investment by foreign institutions,
including a 10 percent cap on foreign ownership of the market’s
value.

Among other draft rules, a single foreign investor could own
no more than 5 percent of any listed firm, while all foreign
institutions combined could own no more than 20 percent. The
Capital Market Authority published the draft on its website.

Aug 19, 2014

Dubai creates new fund class to lure asset managers

DUBAI, Aug 19 (Reuters) – Dubai is changing its financial
rules in an effort to attract more asset managers – particularly
those serving the richest and most risk-tolerant investors, such
as hedge funds and private equity funds – to base themselves in
the emirate.

The rules create a new class of funds that can be domiciled
in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), facing less
stringent regulation and thus lower costs than existing funds.

Aug 14, 2014

As Saudi bourse opens, foreigners face clash of investment cultures

RIYADH/DUBAI, Aug 14 (Reuters) – Seventy-year-old Saudi
Arabian stock speculator Mohamed al-Otaibi says he lost hundreds
of thousands of dollars in the crash of 2006, but he’s back
trading again as the Arab world’s biggest bourse prepares to
open to direct foreign investment.

The activities of Otaibi and many thousands like him mean
there will be a clash of investment cultures when international
institutions enter the $580 billion Saudi market early next
year, under a plan announced by the regulator last month.

Aug 6, 2014

Qatar emir issues law raising foreign ownership limits for stocks

DOHA/DUBAI, Aug 6 (Reuters) – Qatar’s emir has issued a law
providing for foreign investors to own up to 49 percent of
listed Qatari companies, part of reforms to expand the stock
market and develop the financial industry.

“The law stipulates that non-Qatari investors are allowed to
own no more than 49 percent of the shares of Qatari shareholding
companies listed on Qatar Exchange,” the official Qatar News
Agency (QNA) said on Wednesday.

Aug 4, 2014

Tunisia dinar drop shows momentum for reform

TUNIS/DUBAI, Aug 4 (Reuters) – Weakness of Tunisia’s dinar
is undermining the purchasing power of its citizens and evoking
memories of the country’s economic crisis after its 2011
revolution. But this time, the dinar’s depreciation may point to
a stronger financial future.

For the past four months, the central bank has permitted a
slide of the dinar against both the euro and the U.S. dollar,
ending a period of several months in which the bank intervened
to keep the currency steady or even rising.

Jul 22, 2014

Saudi Arabia to open $530 billion bourse to foreigners in early 2015

RIYADH/DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia plans to open its stock market, the Arab world’s biggest, to direct investment by foreign financial institutions in the first half of next year, the market regulator said on Tuesday.

The opening of the Saudi market, capitalised at about $530 billion, is one of the most keenly awaited economic reforms in the world’s biggest oil exporter. The bourse would be one of the world’s last major exchanges to begin welcoming foreign money.

Jul 15, 2014

Regulators take aim at murky UAE markets after Arabtec debacle

ABU DHABI/DUBAI, July 15 (Reuters) – Fifty billion dollars
may be enough to trigger major changes to regulation of the Arab
world’s second biggest stock market.

That sum is the value wiped off the Dubai and Abu Dhabi
stock exchanges since May by the bursting of a bubble that was
inflated by wild speculation among individual investors.

Jun 25, 2014

Iran hopes for end of sanctions boom but investors still wary

DUBAI (Reuters) – With the prospect of a diplomatic breakthrough next month bringing an end to Iran’s international isolation, officials in Tehran are preparing to roll out the red carpet to foreign firms. But a tough legal environment and tricky domestic market mean the hoped-for billions in investment may not come soon.

Only a few more weeks remain before the July 20 deadline to conclude talks between Iran and Western powers aimed at ending sanctions in return for limits on Tehran’s nuclear program.

Jun 24, 2014

Islamic trade finance fuels rising Gulf reinsurance demand -Euler Hermes

DUBAI, June 24 (Reuters) – The spread of Islamic trade
finance is boosting demand for sharia-compliant reinsurance in
the Gulf, trade credit insurer Euler Hermes says, predicting the
sector could eventually account for over a third of its business
in the region.

Islamic finance, which bans interest payments, is used for
only a tiny fraction – perhaps less than 1 percent – of the
foreign trade of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which
totalled roughly $1.5 trillion last year.

Jun 16, 2014

Gulf’s billions insulate economies, markets from Iraq turmoil

DUBAI, June 16 (Reuters) – For years, the rich oil states of
the Gulf have struggled to insulate themselves from political
turbulence in the rest of their volatile region. Markets’
reaction to the insurgency in Iraq suggest they may finally have
succeeded.

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait face the potential disintegration of
a country on their borders. At the very least, the turmoil in
Iraq looks set to widen the Sunni-Shi’ite divide which has
poisoned politics across the region.

    • About Andrew

      "Based in London, I manage economics and emerging markets coverage in the EMEA region and reporting on emerging markets in the area. Before moving to EMEA in early 2009 I spent almost 20 years in Asia as a journalist, based in Hong Kong, Taipei, Tokyo, Singapore and Shanghai."
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