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Saudi trading in US equities tumbles by nearly half

Ades Holding plans to sell 338.72 million shares Reuters
Ades Holding plans to sell 338.72 million shares
  • Saudi traders invested SAR19bn less in US stocks in Q1 2023
  • Trading in European and Asian stocks rose in the same period
  • US stocks remain most popular among Saudi investors

Saudi Arabian investments in US stocks via the kingdom’s brokers fell by nearly half in the first quarter of 2023, regulatory data shows.

Residents of the kingdom traded SAR20.24 billion ($5.4 billion) of US equities through local institutions in the first three months of 2023. This was down from SAR39.95 billion the same period a year earlier, according to a report by the Capital Market Authority.

In contrast, over the same period their buying and selling of European equities surged 49 percent to SAR463.8 million and their trading in Asian stocks more than doubled SAR40.0 million.

US stocks still remain the top choice for foreign equity investments among Saudi residents, representing 92.3 percent of all their on-Saudi stock trading in the first quarter, according to calculations based on AGBI data.

Other markets in the GCC accounted for 5.1 percent, those in Europe 2.1 percent and the remainder 0.5 percent combined.

Saudi residents’ trading on Gulf and Arab markets fell by 38.6 and 60.3 percent to SAR1.12 billion and SAR62.9 million respectively in the first quarter. Buying and selling stocks in “other” markets plunged 99.5 percent to just SAR7.5 million from SAR1.39 billion a year earlier.

The Capital Market Authority data covers only transactions conducted through local brokerages and asset managers.