Goldman Sachs Eyes Expansion in Saudi Arabia With Equities Trading License

Published June 4th, 2017 - 09:14 GMT
Goldman Sachs is trying to expand its business in Saudi Arabia by applying for a license to trade shares on the Saudi stock market. (AFP)
Goldman Sachs is trying to expand its business in Saudi Arabia by applying for a license to trade shares on the Saudi stock market. (AFP)

Goldman Sachs is trying to expand its business in Saudi Arabia by applying for a license to trade shares on the kingdom's stock market.

The investment bank has applied for an equities trading license from the kingdom’s Capital Market Authority (CMA), in a step that could reflect the attractiveness of the Saudi financial market.

Goldman Sachs’ move comes as a new step following granting Citigroup an investment banking license, which allowed it to return to the kingdom in April after being absent for more than 13 years.

The demand by international banks for a license to operate in the Saudi stock market could be due to the programs that the kingdom is working on to achieve the “Vision 2030” for the post-oil phase in the country.

The financial sector development program, announced by Saudi Arabia as part of the “Vision 2030,” is an important step towards developing the local capital market and placing it among the top 10 financial markets in the world.

This comes at a time when the kingdom is working on many economic reforms that contributed to spare the economy of the country from the negative effects it could face due to the sharp declines in oil prices.

For its part, Reuters reported that Goldman Sachs has applied to Saudi Arabia’s capital markets regulator for a license to trade equities in the kingdom, two sources familiar with the move said, in the latest step by Western banks to expand operations in the country.

Goldman Sachs has made the application to the CMA and a successful outcome could lead to a further expansion of its business in the kingdom, one of the sources said.

The Saudi CMA refused to give further details regarding US Goldman Sachs’ request.


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