Riyadh Forms Parallel Equity Market

Nomu will have lighter listing requirements than Tadawul to provide an alternative platform for companies to go public.

Tadawul, the Saudi stock exchange, has introduced a parallel equity market known as Nomu, with lighter listing requirements than the main market. Nomu will serve as an alternative platform for companies to go public. Investment in this market will be limited to qualified investors.

Seven companies were originally listed out of 77 that applied. The exchange said the main objective of setting up Nomu was to create an additional source of funding for issuers and to further diversify and deepen the capital market.

Among the first companies listed on Nomu were Arab Sea Information Systems (a software company), Abo Moati bookstores and Development Works Food (a restaurant chain).

Tadawul says it has implemented a number of significant changes, including the adoption of new corporate governance rules, a global industry classification standard, investor-relations trading and the adoption of a T+2 settlement cycle. The exchange also introduced a delivery-versus-payment settlement model, as well as securities borrowing and lending, as it prepares for anticipated inclusion in emerging market indexes, such as Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI).