Goldman Sachs Now Has A Vested Interest In Saudi Arabia


Goldman Sachs got the green light from the kingdom Sunday to trade equities in Saudi Arabia, adding another western investment bank and equities trader to the region.

Goldman has been operating in the kingdom since 2009 but only as an agent and underwriter. The bank applied for a license to trade equities in June, which was finally approved Sunday, Reuters reports. Goldman is now able to manage funds and portfolios, perform principal trades and a host of other activities in the kingdom.

Sunday’s announcement marks the second time since 2014 that the bank has changed its services in Saudi Arabia. In 2014, the kingdom approved Goldman to manage investment funds and portfolios.

Saudi Arabia opened its stock exchange to foreign investors in 2015, which at the time was estimated to have a market capitalization of more than $560 billion. The Saudi government has also unveiled plans to reform the kingdom’s financial system in an effort to further attract foreign investment.

A number of western banks are already operating in Saudi Arabia. Citigroup got an investment banking license in the kingdom in April. BlackRock and HSBC also have licenses to directly trade in the market.

With Saudi oil conglomerate Aramco expected to have an initial public offering of $100 billion later this year, more foreign investment in the kingdom is a likely prospect.

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