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Goldman Sachs in Talks for Saudi Arabian Equities License

  • U.S. bank said to hold preliminary discussions with regulators
  • Goldman Sachs has yet to file an application for the license

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is in preliminary talks for an equities license in Saudi Arabia as the U.S. lender seeks to take advantage of the country’s economic reforms, according to people familiar with the matter.

The bank has yet to file a formal application, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. While talks are ongoing, no final decisions have been made, the people said. The bank may also decide against going ahead with the submission, they said.

A Goldman Sachs representative declined to comment. Saudi Arabia’s Capital Markets Authority, which would approve the license, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Companies including Ashmore Group Plc have already acquired licenses to invest directly in the kingdom’s equities as Qualified Foreign Investors (QFIs) after the country opened to foreign investment in 2015. Citigroup Inc. also won QFI approval in 2015, people with knowledge of the matter said at the time. Saudi Arabia is emerging as an attractive opportunity for international banks as the kingdom takes steps to overhaul its economy, including plans for what could be the largest-ever initial public offering with the listing of Saudi Arabian Oil Co.

Goldman Sachs is one of the banks that Aramco’s asked to pitch for an advisory role on the listing, people familiar with the matter said in January. It was also one of the arrangers of Saudi Arabia’s debut international bond sale last year. The kingdom raised $17.5 billion in the biggest ever issue from an emerging-market nation in October.

Broader Presence

Other global banks are also planning to seek a broader presence in the kingdom. Citigroup Inc. is in advanced discussions for a banking license in Saudi Arabia, returning after a more than 10-year absence, people familiar with the matter have said. Credit Suisse Group AG has allocated about $600 million of its own capital to expand in the country as it seeks a license, people familiar with the matter said in February.

Goldman Sachs set up a dedicated Saudi Arabian business in 2008 after securing a license from the Capital Markets Authority, according to information on its website. The bank is currently eligible to offer asset management services to institutions and companies, as well as advise on corporate finance transactions in the country. The new license would allow them to buy and sell Saudi Arabian equities as well.

Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange is the Arab world’s largest with a total market capitalization of about 1.61 trillion riyals ($429 billion). It’s home to Saudi Basic Industries Corp., one of the world’s largest chemicals manufacturers and Saudi Telecom Co., the Gulf kingdom’s biggest telecommunications operator.

(Adds Goldman Sachs advised on Saudi debut bond in fifth paragraph. An earlier version of this story was corrected to clarify nature of Ashmore and Citibank licenses.)

9 Comments on "Goldman Sachs in Talks for Saudi Arabian Equities License"

  1. Sissyfuss on Wed, 29th Mar 2017 12:02 pm 

    These two deserve each other. Watch as they take turns bending each other over.

  2. BobInget on Wed, 29th Mar 2017 2:49 pm 

    BUT Sissy, these guys are the smartest MEN in all of Chrisidomx AND Islam…
    What could possibly go wrong?

  3. Cloggie on Thu, 30th Mar 2017 4:53 am 

    Lloyds of London to become Lloyds of Brussels:

    Canary (Wharf) in the coal mine latest. London could REMAIN (pun intended) the financial capital of the world, thanks to EU membership. But now that Britain has shot itself in the foot by placing itself outside of the candy shop, thanks to political punks like Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson, expect financial firms to set up shop there where all the action will be in the 21st century: Eurasia. This is going to be fun.

    Britain thinks it can run away from a marriage without paying the alimony. The EU has a clearly specified bill on the table of 60 billion euro. More than half consists of subordinated regular payments that Britain should have paid up until yesterday, but hasn’t, probably in anticipation of Brexit and creating “negotiation mass”. They are not going to pay. Fine.

    Expect an extremely messy divorce. Attitude Britain: pay nothing but still have free access to lucrative markets. Not going to happen. Not in a long shot. The EU might have been a bit boring from time to time in the past, but no longer. Europe has all the cards: complete economic boycott, closing Channel Tunnel and Ferries, withdrawing cheap white Eastern European Labor from Britain, ripping Scotland and Northern Ireland, encouraging Spain to finally retake Gibraltar in a single blow, creating irreversible facts. And meanwhile rapidly carry out all the policy issues that were previously blocked by Britain, first of all the creation of the largest army in the world (already exists, but is still under NATO command). It could still very well be that the British who voted 48-52 will have second thoughts and cancel Brexit, a distinct possibility, despite pledges of the British Merkel that Brexit is final:

    The European strategy should be a complete lifting of anti-Russian sanctions and make a 180 degree turn, no longer look West (where the sun sets) but look East, where the giant Eurasian markets of the future are.

    For the geopolitics of the 21st century these are crucial moments. If the Trump revolution will fail and the old NWO guard returns, the victory of the US deep state will be final and we will have the world George Orwell predicted in 1984:

    (painting with a very broad brush):

    – Judaic State (pink); Anglosphere (Oceania) mongrelized race; NSA=Big Brother
    – Christian State (orange); Euro-Siberia/Paris-Berlin-Moscow, white race
    – Confucian State (green); Han Chinese
    – Islamic State (yellow); Caliphate, led by Turkey (Orwell did not foresee that secular Ataturk would be overthrown by Erdogan).

    As Orwell predicted all four entities will be continuously at low-grade war with each other. This is a very realistic prospect.

    But we should at least try to sabotage this outcome by trying to cut off a piece of North-America and draw it into Eurosphere and reduce the Judaic State to NE-USA:

    Interesting times.

  4. Davy on Thu, 30th Mar 2017 5:04 am 

    “Konstantin Richter: “The Dirty Dozen” – 12 ‘Things’ That Ruined The EU”

  5. Cloggie on Thu, 30th Mar 2017 6:47 am 

    There is no country in continental Europe more pro-Britain than the Netherlands. But even here no effort is made to reverse the Brexit decision, let alone follow its example. Dutch foreign Minister Koenders hopes that the divorce will be tidy:

    But Koenders rejects cherry picking by the British and that they should pay their bills. Furthermore expects Koenders that a lot of British-based firms will move to the Netherlands. Koenders wants clarity about the fate of 100,000 Dutch currently living in Britain. Koenders is certain that Brexit is irreversible and satisfied that a Nexit is a non-issue in core EU member state Netherlands.

    “Konstantin Richter: “The Dirty Dozen” – 12 ‘Things’ That Ruined The EU”

    Britain for centuries hated Europe, hardened their island mentality and yet managed the Brexit with merely a tiny majority of 48-52.

    All other EU-nations have a more positive attitude towards Europe, despite all sorts of conflict currently raging, like “refugees” and attitude towards ‘Russia. Britain never was an enthusiastic member of the EU and tried to subvert it from within, by blocking an EU army or advocating Turkey’s membership.

    Now that Europe got rid of the British Trojan horse and nothing stands in the way of the formation of the world’s largest super power Paris-Berlin-Moscow, after we got rid of Merkel, the last globalist.

  6. Cloggie on Thu, 30th Mar 2017 6:58 am

    “Don’t blackmail us over security, EU warns May”

    Until yesterday, the EU relied heavily on Anglo intelligence, for instance related to terrorism. May had threatened that access to this intelligence could be blocked if the Brexit would turn nasty (as it will). Good moment to set up an independent EU intelligence organisation.
    President Hollande says Brexit ‘will be painful for the British’

    “US wants Britain to remain strong leader in Europe”


    Ukraine status for Britain:

    “Verhofstadt fires Brexit warning at May and demands UK gets same trade deal as UKRAINE”

    Trump trying to break up the EU:

    Juncker tells Trump to stop ‘annoying’ praise for Brexit – EC president warns break-up of EU risks war in western Balkans

    Trump driving Europeans into the arms of the Russians (and Chinese).

    Geopolitical earth-quake Brexit:

    Wary of Trump, China Launches EU Charm Offensive: Diplomats

  7. Davy on Thu, 30th Mar 2017 7:03 am 

    “Trump driving Europeans into the arms of the Russians (and Chinese).”

    Maybe Europe should try to stand on its own feet instead of needing others arms to hold them. LOL

  8. Cloggie on Thu, 30th Mar 2017 7:34 am 

    Maybe Europe should try to stand on its own feet instead of needing others arms to hold them

    Be careful with what you wish for.

  9. BobInget on Thu, 30th Mar 2017 9:05 am 

    Saudi IPO: Doomed.


    Instead of the two trillion promised, KSA may need to settle for 400 billion.

    Iran supplies Yemeni Rebels with highly sophisticated
    Unless KSA acts quickly to settle with Yemen
    their entire oil infrastructure goes down the tubes.
    Not to mention that highly touted IPO.


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