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Carlyle Says Saudi Opening Will Draw Investors on Ease of Exits

April 09, 2013

Saudi Arabia’s stock market will attract investors such as Carlyle Group LP (CG:US), the world’s second- biggest private-equity firm, when it opens to foreign investors, said Firas Nasir, co-head of the company’s MENA fund.

“The Saudi market opening would attract investors like us more to Saudi as it would be easier to exit,” Nasir said today at the Bloomberg Doha conference. The Washington-based firm has made two of its about six investments in its $500 million Middle East and North Africa fund in Saudi Arabia, he said.

Banks, including Deutsche Bank AG and HSBC Holdings Plc, are predicting that Saudi Arabia’s $390 billion stock market may open to foreigners as early as next year amid rising demand for assets in the largest Arab economy. The kingdom may attract as much as $30 billion of inflows, John Burbank, founder of $3.7 billion San Francisco-based hedge fund Passport Capital LLC, said in February.

Saudi Arabia, which said last year it will open the stock market gradually, only allows non-resident foreigners outside of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council to invest through equity swaps and exchange-traded funds.

To contact the reporters on this story: Andrew J. Barden in Dubai at; Robert Tuttle in Doha at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at

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