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Saudi Stock Exchange to launch joint index with MSCI

The Saudi Stock Exchange and U.S.-based MSCI Inc. agreed to launch a joint tradable index in the fourth quarter of 2018 that would serve as the basis for investment instruments, including derivatives and exchange-traded funds, or ETFs.

The new index will be based on the MSCI Saudi Arabia index series that will be part of the MSCI emerging market index, the two parties said Sept. 4. Saudi Arabia is set to join the benchmark emerging markets index in June 2019.

Meanwhile, the Saudi Stock Exchange, also called Tadawul, said it will introduce exchange-traded derivatives in the first half of 2019. The move is part of the country's "Vision 2030 Financial Sector Development Program," Tadawul CEO Khalid Al Hussan said.

The launch of ETFs follows the establishment of an independent central counterparty clearing house and the rollout of a two-day or "T+2" industry standard for settling securities transactions among other market measures, Tadawul said.