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Saudi Arabia to Privatise Bourse, Plans New Financial Centre
10 May 2006
Saudi Arabia’s stock market is to be opened up to investment from the private sector in a move that is also set to establish the Middle East's largest financial district. The move to privatise the exchange will help the stock market operate more professionally and transparently, and introduce new products and services, according to commentators. The Saudi stock exchange, the Arab world's largest bourse by capital, currently operates on an interbank basis and is managed by a government organisation. Officials say that the move to incorporate the stock exchange as a joint stock company would be completed "very soon", although a time frame has not been put on the move. It has also been announced that work will start early next year to build "the Middle East's largest financial centre" in Riyadh. Called The King Abdullah Financial District, after the Saudi monarch, the area will house the stock exchange as well as banks and other financial institutions, and will take three years to build.