2006 News Story

Finance Minister briefs private sector representatives on economic issues

Minister of Finance Ibrahim Al-Assaf met today with representatives of the Saudi private sector, as per a directive of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.

The minister briefed the representatives on yesterday’s meeting of the Supreme Economic Council (SEC), which focused on the sudden sharp decline of the Saudi stock market. The Council stated that the recent decline is not based on economic indicators, which reflect balanced growth.

Al-Assaf said that the SEC discussed various factors affecting the Saudi stock market and ways to help investors benefit from opportunities, especially in companies with sound financial statements. These factors include allowing non-Saudi expatriates to invest directly in the stock market instead of being restricted to mutual funds, as well as cutting the nominal value of shares, which paves the way for share splits.

King Abdullah directed that all these ideas be studied and the necessary measures taken, Al-Assaf said.

King Abdullah also stressed that investing in the Saudi economy and Saudi companies in an investment in the country’s future, and urged the business sector to do so, Al-Assaf added.