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Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Mobius wary of Saudi market opening to foreigners - MarketWatch

A cautious Saudi Arabia may impose excessive restrictions on outsiders if it does open its stock market to direct foreign investment, but too many such conditions would undermine the success of liberalising the Middle East's biggest stock exchange, emerging-markets expert Mark Mobius said.

Given the conservative nature of Saudi Arabia, "I would be quite surprised if they really have a complete opening," Mobius, who helps manage in excess of $40 billion as the executive chairman of the Templeton Emerging Markets Group, told Zawya Dow Jones in a recent phone interview. Mobius, who said he has not spoken directly to Saudi officials on the topic, predicted regulations that could make Saudi's market "not be very attractive" to leading international funds.

"We have to see what are the strings attached," Mobius added.