Saudi Arabia aims to regulate free float trading: CMA official  

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s capital market sector is progressing in the right direction, enabling the Kingdom to achieve its goals outlined in Vision 2030, said an expert. 

In an interview with Arab News on the sidelines of the Capital Market Forum in Riyadh, the European Director of Bloomberg, Constantin Cotzias, said that the Kingdom’s plans to concentrate on the debt market are a welcome move. 

“I think if you look at the overarching 2030 plan and you look at the progress against that and then you look at how the capital market has acted as that engine. Let’s take the equity market. All the data points up really strong,” said Cotzias. 

He added: “I think we’ve heard from various ministers that they’re now turning their attention to the debt market, which I think is the right strategy. So, market by market, asset class by asset class, you can see an improvement. And international investors are responding to that.” 

In the debt market, fixed-income securities of various types and features are issued and traded.

Cotzias pointed out that Saudi Arabia, with various reforms in its regulatory framework, is emerging as a favorite destination for international investors. 

“International investors want three things. They want liquidity, a framework of governance and regulation that works, and a balance of good supervision and innovation to be properly balanced. And then they want that framework to encourage them with investment and the growth in that investment. I think the Kingdom is on the right path. If you speak to different types of investors, you’ll hear that,” added Cotzias. 

During the talk, the Bloomberg head also lauded Saudi Arabia’s government for creating that “confidence” among investors, which is necessary for a market to thrive, evolve and grow. 

He added that the capital market in Saudi Arabia is acting as a cornerstone to achieve the goals outlined in Vision 2030. 

“I think the final hurdle, like all international markets, will be that confidence. But see the leadership from the government, from the finance minister, from the central bank. I think that will be the thing that gets them there,” said Cotzias.

He added: “There is a plan for issuers and investors around the fixed-income market. About new products and the green agenda, you can see investors are having a very busy time here. I think they’re picking the right strategy.” 

During the talk, he also highlighted the vital role of technology in growing the capital market in Saudi Arabia. 

According to Cotzias, technology will be an “enabler” in the Saudi market, as it will help connect investors to the market. 

“I think in a market like Saudi Arabia, which is broadening and deepening its capital market, technology is going to be an enabler, whether it’s on the buyer side and the asset management side or the seller side connecting real money investors to the market. From what I’ve heard, I think it’s going to be an enabler,” he noted. 

Saudi Capital Market Forum began on Feb. 19, with financial experts gathering in Riyadh to discuss the future of finance, evolving strategies, and innovative ideas to boost the sector’s growth. 

Cotzias also discussed the vitality of such conferences and added that events like these will help portray the growth of Saudi Arabia’s capital market. 

“I think it’s been a fantastic forum. The main goal is to tell the story of the Saudi capital markets, which have been on a journey. And I think the ability to come here, see that progress against the plan and how the capital market is driving the broader 2030 vision has been really interesting,” he added. 

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