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Sunday, 29 April 2018

Institutional Money Fund foundations laid in Saudi Arabia: Fitch | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Institutional Money Fund foundations laid in Saudi Arabia: Fitch | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Fitch Ratings says in a new report that the foundations of an institutional money fund industry have been laid in Saudi Arabia. Retail investors represent the largest share of money fund investors in Saudi Arabia; however, Fitch has identified an increasing number of funds offering high minimum initial investment share classes, which are typically accessible only to large or sophisticated, ie non-retail, investors. The growth of this nascent institutional segment is supported by the growth of the money fund sector in Saudi Arabia and the solid regulatory framework already in-place for these funds. Overall, Fitch estimates that the Saudi Arabian money fund sector grew by around 10% over the three years to end-December 2017 in US dollar terms, with asset expansion particularly high in 2017. This compares with a global money fund growth of 5% over the same period. Saudi money funds are primarily denominated in Saudi riyals, although a limited number are denominated in US dollars. Saudi Arabia is approximately by total asset the 20th-largest money fund domicile (approximately 19 billion in US dollar terms) globally. While Saudi Arabia is a middle-ranking money fund domicile, it is by far the largest in the Middle East region. Money funds represent around 73% of total mutual fund assets domiciled in Saudi Arabia. As in other smaller mutual fund markets, money funds offer a first step into investment for risk-averse investors through effecting limited maturity transformation and hence offering superior rates - and diversification - to bank deposits. Fitch expects continued growth in the Saudi Asset management industry, which is already the largest Islamic asset management industry globally. "

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