in shares till the middle of 1980s when a ministerial committee was formed called the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, where both the ministers of finance and commerce were participants. This was the first effort to set up a share market, and this committee was the first group which was given the responsibility for market regulation and development. Considering the position of the country as a rich country, the process of development was fast and it became the first country of the world with a fully electronic market in the beginning of 1990s. This market permitted trading, clearing of settlements and depository services. The infrastructure of the market was further developed in 2001, and this was of interest to the people as the market had grown in volume during the intervening period. (Saudi Arabian Capital Markets law passed)
The growth of the market has continued, and before the new act of 15 June, 2003 came up, the capitalisation of the market was to the level of SR477 billion or US$ 127 billion. This made it the largest market in the area and one of the largest among the developing countries in the world. At the same time, the market is limited by the number of companies that are listed on the market, which are only 65. Even the trading for the shares of these companies is limited to only nationals of the country and citizens of countries which are members of the Gulf Cooperation Council. For the citizens of other countries, the participation in the market is through investments in the open ended mutual funds that are being offered by the Saudi Arabian banks. (Saudi Arabian Capital Markets law passed) While part of this process is essential as there are has a number of monarchies, yet the spirit of participation by average citizens is growing, and since the banks in the area cannot offer interest on deposits due to Islamic tenets, it is certain that investments in stocks are bound to develop.
There are quite a few indications that there has been progress