Saudi stock exchange names first female chair

The Saudi Arabian stock exchange has appointed Sarah Al-Suhaimi, chief executive of NCB Capital, as chair of its board.

The exchange, also known as the Tadawul, made the appointment at a board meeting on February 16. It is reportedly the first time a woman has chaired a major government finance institution in the kingdom.

In a statement, the board thanked outgoing members “for their continuous efforts and achievements during the period of their membership”.

Al-Suhaimi takes on her leadership position as the Saudi exchange prepares to host what is expected to be the world’s largest initial public offering (IPO), of Saudi national oil firm Aramco. If, as expected, the company lists 5% of its shares, the IPO could raise about $100 billion.

Meanwhile, the Tadawul is in the process of opening up to foreign buyers, having begun allowing qualified foreign institutional investors to trade directly on the exchange on June 15, 2015.

Al-Suhaimi has served as chief executive of NCB Capital, the investment banking and asset management division of the National Commercial Bank, since 2014. As Tadawul chair, she succeeds Khalid Al-Rabiah, chief executive of petrochemicals firm Chemanol, who has served since 2014.

Abdulrahman Al Mofadhi, who represents the Ministry of Finance on the board, was reappointed vice-chair.

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