Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange, the biggest in the Middle East and Africa, hired HSBC Saudi Arabia Ltd. as a financial adviser for its initial public offering.
“The appointment of a financial adviser is an important milestone,” the bourse said Thursday in a statement on its website as part of its initiative to boost transparency. The offering is scheduled to happen by 2018 pending regulatory approvals.
The public offering comes amid a broad Saudi privatization drive that includes plans to list up to 5 percent in state oil giant Aramco. Earlier this week, the $404 billion Tadawul Stock Exchange said it will relax restrictions on foreign investors as part of its plan to turn the bourse into a gateway for inflows into the kingdom.