Minister of Finance and National Economy Dr. Ibrahim Al-Assaf today denied press reports that foreigners
would soon be able to invest directly in the Saudi stock market following last year's decision to allow
them to circulate bonds through investment funds run by national banks. He clarified that the matter is
currently restricted to the latter activity, and the issue of direct investment has not yet been discussed by
the concerned authorities. The idea of forming an independent body to supervise the stock market, he
said, is part of a comprehensive review currently under way, which may take some time. The most recent
decision by the review panel was approval for distribution of profits more frequently than once a year.
Dr. Al-Assaf remarked that the Saudi stock market has recently been very lively, saying the value of
circulated stocks reached nearly SR 3 billion [U.S. 0.8 billion] yesterday, with 2,388 points.