A man speaks on the phone as he walks past the Kingdom Centre Tower in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, November 5, 2017. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser
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Saudi Arabia's inclusion in global equity indexes and the planned privatization of oil company Aramco are expected to bring big inflows of overseas money into the kingdom next year. This should help Riyadh rebuild its financial reserves and fund investment plans after the 2014 plunge in oil prices that cut export earnings and deprived the banking system of funds.The inflows are likely to boost foreign reserves.Saudi Arabia could see $30 billion to $45 billion of portfolio inflows in the next two years if it reaches the same level of foreign ownership in stock markets as the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, according to investment bank EFG Hermes.This month Riyadh took another step toward boosting fund inflows by listing $54.5 billion worth of local currency government bonds on its stock exchange. This could scare away some foreign investment and perhaps cause Riyadh to postpone the Aramco sale.One wild card is the money which private Saudi citizens transfer abroad; if this increases because of political or economic instability, it could offset much of the fund inflows.
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