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Saudi’s Riyad Capital Predicts 25% Growth In AUM Over Several Years

Saudi’s Riyad Capital Predicts 25% Growth In AUM Over Several Years

The Riyadh-based firm currently manages about $8 billion in assets, largely in equities-related areas.

Riyad Capital, the Saudi Arabian investment bank, expects its assets under management to grow at least 25 per cent over the next few years, helped by the opening of the kingdom’s stock market to direct investment by foreigners later this year, a company executive said on Wednesday.

The Riyadh-based firm, the investment banking arm of Riyad Bank, currently manages about $8 billion in assets, largely in equities-related areas.

“With the opening of the stock market, foreign investors will come directly as well as indirectly through funds, through asset managers,” Adel al Ateeq, senior vice president and head of asset management, told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference in Abu Dhabi.

“Our assets are growing steadily – it will easily cross $10 billion in three to five years,” he said, adding that allocations to other asset classes such as real estate and private equity were also growing.

Set up in 2008, Riyad Capital, one of the biggest equity managers in Saudi Arabia, has started talking to overseas investors before the market opening and plans to expand its offering to investors, especially through mutual funds, Ateeq said.

The firm’s business was hit by weak equity markets in the Gulf late last year but with markets picking up since the start of this year, the Saudi market opening should boost activity, he said.

The market regulator has said it will start permitting direct investment by foreign institutions in Saudi stocks in the first half of this year, although investment licences are expected to be granted gradually to avoid destabilising the market.

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