Financial Times noted today that international institutional demand for swaps in Saudi Arabian stocks–introduced by the country’s Capital Markets Authority last August as a method to furnish overseas investors the economic but not the voting rights of a stock–has rapidly increased of late based on the positive earnings outlook for many Saudi companies, as well as myriad signs that rate of decline for the global recession is tempering.  Sectors of particular interest, not surprisingly, are areas in which the Saudi kingdom has a comparative advantage, i.e. petrochemicals. Per the Tadawul, the country’s stock exchange, overseas-based investors bought SR1.23bn ($328m) worth of swaps last month, up more than three-fold from March, while only SR269m of them were sold.

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