Financial landscape of Saudi Arabia - Statistics & Facts

An important characteristic of the financial landscape of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is that it has been shaped accordance to the Islamic finance principles. As of 2018, the Saudi Arabian Financial landscape generated about 358 billion Saudi Riyal. According to the Islamic doctrines in finance and business, paying or charging interest is prohibited. Further speculation and excessive risk taking is not allowed. Companies complying to Islamic finance principles avoid investing in business fields such as producing and selling pork and alcoholic products. On the other side, investments according to Islamic finance principles encourage the sharing of profits and losses either through a partnership and joint venture or through a leasing agreement. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia held over 20 percent of the global Islamic banking assets in 2018, right behind the Islamic Republic of Iran. At the same time, Saudi Arabia controlled 35 percent of the majority of the global Islamic fund assets. Besides Islamic finance and banking, Saudi Arabia was a major player in the region for the stock market. The Saudi Arabian Stock Exchanges was led (in terms of traded share value) in the Middle East right behind Borsa Istanbul. With 107 Initial public offerings in 2016, Saudi Arabia was the leading country amongst all Gulf Cooperation Council countries. The highly anticipated IPO of the state-run oil company Saudi Aramco came finally through at the end of 2019, making it the world largest public company. The company sold 1.5 percent of its shares (about three billion) in the Saudi stock exchange, valuing the entire company at 1.7 trillion U.S. dollars. In terms of dividend payout in the Gulf cooperation Council region, Kuwait lead right before Saudi Arabia. In terms of share of market value of outstanding conventional and Islamic sukuk bond insurances, Saudi Arabia was ranked on third position in the Gulf region right behind the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

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Financial landscape of Saudi Arabia

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