Saudi Arabia: Tadawul Signs Development Agreement with Nasdaq
Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) and Nasdaq have signed a specialized agreement that aims at developing Tadawul’s technical infrastructure.
The agreement includes the replacement of the existing registry, depository and settlement solution and the introduction of a new central clearing solution that will enable Tadawul and market participants to introduce new asset classes to the market and offer new services to the investors.
Commenting on the agreement, Executive Director of Tadawul Eng. Khaled bin Abdullah al-Hussan, indicated that through the 10-year partnership, Nasdaq has been distinct in developing leading system technologies.
“Through this partnership, we aim to leverage flexible, high-efficiency technologies to increase the market’s future growth, and reduce the risk of clearing and settlement solutions in line with international practices and standards,” he added.
The Kingdom is now in an era of transition and innovation, said Adena Friedman, Executive Director of Nasdaq.
Friedman indicated that Nasdaq is confident Tadawul has the potential to meet Vision 2030.
Tadawul has launched numerous initiatives and efforts that are in line with the best global practices to expand its base in international markets, she continued.
This transformation is expected to be complete during the second half of 2020.
In this regard, the Financial Sector Development Program, announced by Saudi Arabia as part of Vision 2030, has become an important step towards the development of the local capital market and placing it among the top 10 financial markets in the world.
The Program wants to develop Saudi capital markets so they attract local and foreign investments and perform a pivotal role in developing the national economy and diversifying its income resources.
It also includes developing financial institutions, such as public and private funds, banks and insurance companies to improve their role in supporting the growth of the private sector.
Meanwhile, Saudi commercial banks will achieve new growth in their operating profits. The financial results of six local banks show an 11.3 percent year-on-year growth in profits compared to 2016.
In this regard, National Commercial Bank (NCB) announced its record net income for 2017 with a growth rate of 5.2 percent compared to 2016, al-Rajhi Bank 12.2 percent, and Riyad Bank recorded a growth rate of 18.07 percent in 2017.
Financial results announced by Saudi banks showed that al-Inma Bank’s profits have grown 33.8 percent in 2017, al-Bilad said growth of profits reached 16.6 percent, while al-Jazira Bank’s profits fell by only 1.6 percent over the past year.
The six banks that announced their financial results achieved a net profit of $7 billion in 2017. The rest of Saudi banks are expected to announce their financial results in the coming days amid signs that the profitability of most of them is growing.