The Capital Market Authority  said previously that the Saudi market will open to direct investment sometime in the first half of 2015.

Foreign institutional investors are expected to begin direct trading of Saudi Arabian stocks before April next year, the Asharq al-Awsat newspaper reported on Monday quoting unnamed sources.

In August, the Capital Market Authority (CMA) proposed rules for opening the market to direct investment sometime in the first half of 2015, including a 10 per cent cap on combined foreign ownership of the market’s value.  At present, foreigners are limited to investing indirectly through swaps and exchange-traded funds.

Under the draft rules, foreign institutions would have to qualify for permission to invest.  For example, they would usually need to have at least $5 billion of assets under management, and investment experience of five years.

The CMA said at the time that a three-month consultation period on the draft rules would end on Nov. 20.  The final rules are expected to be announced before the end of this year, the Asharq al-Awsat reported on Monday.

“According to private information obtained by Asharq al-Awsat yesterday, the Capital Market Authority is preparing to announce the final list of foreign direct investment (rules) before the end of this year, which enhances the opportunity to allow foreign investors to directly buy and sell in the local stock market before April,” it said.

CMA officials could not be contacted to comment on the report.

With Reuters