FTSE Launches Saudi Arabia Inclusion Index Series

FTSE Russell logo.
FTSE Russell logo.
TT

FTSE Launches Saudi Arabia Inclusion Index Series

FTSE Russell logo.
FTSE Russell logo.

FTSE Russell announced that Saudi Arabia has taken a number positive steps to increase the openness and effectiveness of its markets.

As a result of these reforms, it was anticipated that Saudi Arabia would meet the requirements for inclusion as a Secondary Emerging market as of the beginning of the next year following the implementation of further enhancements to the independent custody model.

FTSE Russell issued a statement announcing that it will launch a series of stand-alone indices for Saudi markets such as “global and regional FTSE Saudi Arabia inclusion indexes" and gave notice that the Kingdom’s markets would be classed as a “secondary emerging market” early next year.

Specific changes recently made by Saudi Capital Market Authority (CMA) and Tadawul to bring the market in line with international standards include the introduction of Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) regulations to further diversify the availability of investment vehicles and promote investment in real estate in late 2016.

In addition, FTSE Russell stated that Qualified Foreign Investors (QFIs) were allowed to participate in IPOs as of January 2017 and Tadawul launched a parallel market called Nomu in February 2017 to stimulate economic growth by attracting additional sources of capital for smaller companies.

Tadawul adopted the new Tadawul Corporate Governance rules in February 2017 and the settlement period was amended from T+0 to T+2 in April 2017.

However, enhancements to the independent custody model, which enable custodians to reject the settlement of unconfirmed trades, are scheduled to be introduced in January 2018

The plan aims to boost and diversify the Kingdom’s economy by increasing foreign investment and developing the private sector to increase non-oil revenue. A vital portion of the plan attracting global attention includes the potential sale of up to 5 percent of Aramco.

CEO of FTSE Russell Mark Makepeace stated that FTSE Russell has strong relationships in the Middle East and is delighted to launch the new stand-alone country indices for the Saudi Arabian market.

"Saudi Arabia inclusion indices are a very positive step for the market and country as a whole and we will now begin work with institutional and market practitioners to prepare for the anticipated classification of Saudi Arabia as a Secondary Emerging market,"stated Makepeace.

The CEO declared that FTSE Russell is looking forward to working with Tadawul to further develop the index series and create innovative index products for this market.

In September 2017, FTSE Russell announced its annual country classification, which confirmed that Saudi Arabia remains on the firm’s watch list for possible inclusion as a Secondary Emerging Market within FTSE GEIS.



German Economy Minister Says EU Open for Talks on China Tariffs

German Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Robert Habeck poses for pictures alongside National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Chairman Zheng Shanjie following the opening session of the German-Chinese Climate and Transformation Dialogue in Beijing, China June 22, 2024. REUTERS/Maria... Purchase Licensing Rights
German Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Robert Habeck poses for pictures alongside National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Chairman Zheng Shanjie following the opening session of the German-Chinese Climate and Transformation Dialogue in Beijing, China June 22, 2024. REUTERS/Maria... Purchase Licensing Rights
TT

German Economy Minister Says EU Open for Talks on China Tariffs

German Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Robert Habeck poses for pictures alongside National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Chairman Zheng Shanjie following the opening session of the German-Chinese Climate and Transformation Dialogue in Beijing, China June 22, 2024. REUTERS/Maria... Purchase Licensing Rights
German Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Robert Habeck poses for pictures alongside National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Chairman Zheng Shanjie following the opening session of the German-Chinese Climate and Transformation Dialogue in Beijing, China June 22, 2024. REUTERS/Maria... Purchase Licensing Rights

Germany's Economy Minister Robert Habeck said during his visit to China on Saturday that the European Union's door is open for discussions regarding EU tariffs on Chinese exports.

"What I suggested to my Chinese partners today is that the doors are open for discussions and I hope that this message was heard," he said in his first statement in Shanghai, after meetings with Chinese officials in Beijing, Reuters reported.

Habeck's visit is the first by a senior European official since Brussels proposed hefty duties on imports of Chinese-made electric vehicles (EVs) to combat what the EU considers excessive subsidies.

Habeck said there is time for a dialogue between the EU and China on tariff issues before the duties come into full effect in November and that he believes in open markets but that markets require a level playing field.

Proven subsidies that are intended to increase the export advantages of companies can't be accepted, the minister said.

Another point of tension between Beijing and Berlin is China's support for Russia in its war in Ukraine. Habeck noted Chinese trade with Russia increased more than 40% last year.

Habeck said he had told Chinese officials that this was taking a toll on their economic relationship. "Circumventions of the sanctions imposed on Russia are not acceptable," he said, adding that technical goods produced in Europe should not end up on the battlefield via other countries.