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Qualified Foreign Investors (QFIs)

Through the Qualified Foreign Investor (QFI) program, international investors have direct and consistent access to the Saudi capital market. The program was introduced in June 2015 and has been amended as recently as June 2019 to ease registration requirements and expand the range of eligible institutional investors.

Each QFI may not own 10% or more of the shares of any issuer whose shares are listed or a convertible debt instrument of the issuer. No more than 49% of an issuer may be owned in aggregate by foreign investors, except for foreign strategic investors. Entities eligible for QFI status include banks, brokerages and securities firms, insurance companies, investment funds and government and government-related entities. Prospective QFIs must be licensed or subject to regulatory oversight. Except for government-related entities, applicants must have assets under management of at least $500 million.

Jump To:
  • Investment Opportunities
  • Eligibility & Rules
  • Further Information
  • FAQs

Investment Opportunities

Our key objective is to become an active player in global capital markets, both as a source of capital and as an investment destination. The Saudi Exchange continues to build on its commitment to creating new opportunities for issuers and investors and to reinforcing its position as a global market leader and an advanced capital market.

As a major player in the Kingdom’s Financial Sector Development Program (FSDP), the Saudi Exchange aims to support the development of a diversified and effective financial sector, diversify its sources of income and stimulate savings, finance and investment.

Saudi Arabia is also the largest economy in the Gulf Cooperation Council, and with a GDP of $805 billion, Saudi Arabia's economy represents approximately 25 percent of Middle East and North Africa (MENA)’s total output. Saudi Arabia has a long and distinguished track record of growth, high rates of investment and stable monetary and exchange rate policies. The Kingdom’s global influence is recognized in its membership of the G20.

The Saudi Exchange has worked closely with the Capital Market Authority to make the Saudi market even more attractive to international investors. This has been done by improving market function and efficiency, expanding access, improving corporate governance and increasing transparency. These far-reaching measures have enhanced liquidity, bolstered investor security, mitigated risk, reduced price volatility and brought market practices in line with international standards.

As a result of the successful reforms and enhancements made by the Saudi Exchange, the Saudi market has been included in global benchmark indices such as MSCI, FTSE Russell and S&P Dow Jones. With an average weight of around 2.8%, Saudi Arabia was on MSCI’s watch list for less than one year before being included in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index – the shortest period any country has spent in the watch list in the history of the index.

Eligibility & Rules

How To Become A Qualified Foreign Investor

To become a registered QFI and begin trading, investors must be assessed and approved by an authorized person and open an investment account with one of the Saudi Exchange’s member firms.
When applying for QFI status with an assessing authorized person, the applicant should, where applicable:

  • Complete a QFI details form.
  • Provide a copy of its certificate of incorporation or commercial register or an equivalent document.
  • Provide evidence of its regulatory status and a copy of its most recent annual report and accounts, audited financial statements and details of any suspension or revocation by a regulator of any license or permission held by the entity.
  • Provide a list of the QFI's affiliates or foreign portfolio managers.
  • Disclose the QFI’s investments in listed companies.


The FAQs that is published by the CMA can be found through the below link

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