RIYADH/DUBAI Feb 16 Saudi Arabia officials and
executives of around 14 companies plan to embark on a marketing
tour of Singapore and Hong Kong next month to attract Asian
investors in the $430 billion stock exchange, banking sources
told Reuters on Thursday.
The HSBC Saudi Arabia Investment Forum will include stops in
Singapore on March 1-2 and Hong Kong on March 3, the sources
The trip reflects the rising importance of Asia for Riyadh,
which sends the bulk of its oil exports to Asian markets. Two
similar trips organised by JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley were
held this autumn in New York and London, respectively.
Saudi Arabia has brought in new rules to make it easier for
foreigners to invest in the stock exchange, the Tadawul, most
recently permitting foreign institutional investors to buy
shares directly in initial public offers.
Saudi Stock Exchange Chief Executive Khalid al-Hussan, a
senior Capital Market Authority official and officials from the
Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency and Saudi Arabian General
Investment Authority will be on the trip, one of the sources
A Tadawul spokesman confirmed the attendance of Tadawul and
CMA executives at the forum without elaborating.
The companies include Saudi Basic Industries Corp,
the kingdom's largest company by market value, Al Rajhi Bank
, its largest Islamic bank, and other banks including
Saudi British Bank (SABB), Banque Saudi Fransi
and Samba Financial Group, according to one
of the sources.
The officials and companies, which will also include Savola
Group, its largest food products company, and Saudi
Arabian Mining Company, will meet around 100 investors
during the trip.
A HSBC spokesman said the bank hosted many such
international events to provide clients and investors with
"opportunities and ideas to support the growth of their
Under sweeping economic reforms announced last year and
designed to reduce Saudi Arabia's reliance on oil exports, the
government plans in the coming years to offer shares in a wide
range of firms, including a stake of up to 5 percent in state
oil giant Saudi Aramco IPO-ARMO.SE in 2018.
Aramco executives will not be part of next month's trip,
although bankers have told Reuters a listing in Asia is likely.
(Additional reporting by Kanupriya Kapoor in Jakarta; editing
by Susan Thomas)