BlackRock Inc. plans to start an exchange-traded fund for Saudi Arabian shares as the biggest Arab bourse prepares to open its market to foreigners.
The world’s biggest money manager has sought approval for its iShares MSCI Saudi Arabia Capped ETF from the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, according to a filing posted on SEC’s website. The fund will seek to track the results of an MSCI Provisional Saudi Arabia Index, according to the filing.
“The underlying index is designed to measure the potential equity market in Saudi Arabia, should the market open up to foreign investors,” according to the filing. The index “may include large-, mid- or small-capitalization companies and components primarily include financials, materials and telecommunications companies,” according to the statement.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude oil exporter, is preparing to open its $526 billion stock exchange to foreign investors next year, spurring investor interest in the nation.
Foreign investors can’t buy Saudi-listed shares directly, and instead access the market through equity swaps and ETFs.
The Tadawul All Share Index has gained 15 percent this year, compared to a 0.8 percent decline in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.