Saudi mulls commodities bourse

Oil will not be traded in the new bourse to avoid speculation

Saudi Arabia could become the second Gulf country to have an official commodities bourse when but oil will not be traded in the new market to avoid any speculation, a Saudi newspaper said on Sunday.

A company with a capital of around SR one billion ($266 million) could be established in the near future to operate that bourse, which will be the second major commodities exchange in the region after Dubai’s commodities bourse.

“Saudi Arabia is serious considering the establishment of a commodities and metals bourse,” Shams daily said, quoting “reliable” banking sources.

“The project has already won the support of the ministry of finance and the plan will be presented to the Monarch for endorsement.”

It said a SRone-billion company would be created by local banks and some government establishments to operate that bourse.

“The sources said oil will not be traded on that bourse as such a plan is opposed by Saudi Aramco and the ministry of oil in line with the government’s long-standing policy of keeping crude away from market speculation,” it said, adding that petroleum products could be traded.

Saudi Arabia, the largest Arab economy and the world’s top oil exporter, already has a bonds market along with the existing stock exchange, Tadawul, which is by far the busiest and largest equity market in the Middle East.

Official data showed the Riyadh-based Tadawul had a market capitalization of around $316 billion on Thursday, accounting for more than a third of the total Arab market capitalization of nearly $861 billion.


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