Saudi Arabia sees increase in foreign investor licences

Saudi Arabia has seen an increase in the number of licensed foreign investors in the first quarter of the year, despite the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia (MISA) issued 348 foreign investor licences in Q1 of 2020, marking a 19% increase from the same period in 2019 and a 20% increase from the previous quarter. The month to month statistics show that there was a slowdown in growth in March as global markets reacted to the spread of the coronavirus. There were 126 and 121 licences issued in January and February respectively. The figure declined to 101 in March. In addition, 73% of all new investments in the same quarter were for fully foreign-owned investment vehicles and the remaining 27% were joint ventures with Saudi partners. The figures were published by MISA as part of its Investment Highlights Spring 2020 report as the kingdom steps up its efforts to promote the resilience of the Saudi economy to international investors. According to minister of investment, Khalid Al Falih, the first quarter saw the strongest investor interest for more than 10 years and represented “a reassuring show of confidence from the world’s investors in the kingdom’s long-term prospects as an attractive investment destination”. The ministry stated that the figures “indicate that global investors remain positive about the long-term potential of the kingdom as an investment destination as economies transition to post-Covid-19 conditions”. © 2020 funds global mena

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