November 4, 2018 / 2:51 PM / 17 days ago

Foreign selling of Saudi stocks slows in week to Nov. 1

DUBAI, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Foreigners sold a net 89.2 million riyals ($23.8 million) in the Saudi stock market in the week ended Nov. 1, a sharp drop from the previous two weeks when investor worries over the impact of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s killing prompted heavy selling.

The foreign selling slowed from 2.34 billion riyals in the previous week and a record 4.01 billion riyals the week before when Khashoggi’s killing caused concern about the effects on the kingdom’s relations with foreign powers.

The reduction in selling signalled that many managers are still optimistic about expected inflows into Saudi Arabia of about $15 billion of “passive” funds next year, when the market joins emerging market indexes.

After two weeks of heavy buying, purchases by local institutions eased to 1.44 billion riyals on a net basis.

State institutions such as the Public Investment Fund helped limit a market crash caused by the killing of Khashoggi by indirectly supporting local stocks, using local institutions, Reuters reported on Oct. 23.

The Saudi stock market is up 8.6 percent in the year to date, although it has weakened this quarter. ($1 = 3.7509 riyals) (Reporting by Tom Arnold; Editing by Adrian Croft)

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