The Tadawul All Share Index dropped 1.6 percent as of 2:33 p.m. in Riyadh. AFP PHOTO / FAYEZ NURELDINE
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Saudi Arabia won classification as an emerging market by a major index compiler for the first time, a key step toward the kingdom's goal of attracting billions in additional stock investor inflows.The kingdom will have a 2.7 percent weighting in the compiler's main emerging market stock benchmark, FTSE said.FTSE's decision is one of two watershed index announcements the kingdom's regulators – and the markets – have been awaiting.The Tadawul All Share Index has climbed 8.3 percent this year.If MSCI follows suit in June, a further $10 billion could pour into Saudi stocks.Even before anticipated foreign inflows, stocks in Riyadh trade at more expensive valuations than their emerging-markets peers: Their average estimated price-to-earnings ratio was close to 14 times this week, compared with 12 times for members of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.
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