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Report: Saudi Arabia examining rules to license new bourse operators

Saudi Arabia is examining regulations around granting licenses to new stock exchange operators in an effort to diversify its economy away from oil, Reuters reported, citing Arabic financial news website Maaal.

Unnamed sources told Maaal that the Shura council, an advisory body, has greenlit and submitted the regulations to the royal court for cabinet approval, according to the report.

Currently, the only bourse in the country is state-owned Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul), which has been looking to float some of its shares in a public offering. However, the IPO process has been slow thus far due to the bourse focusing on boosting its profitability and efficiency, the report said.

Recently, the country has made efforts toward making the local stock market more appealing to foreign investors and issuers. Local shares were incorporated into the FTSE's emerging-market index in March and in the MSCI emerging market benchmark in May.