Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Stocks Again | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A number of important issues have emerged from the Saudi stock market crisis; they require attention in order to amend what needs to be changed.

It is clear the stock market and investors needed a voice of reason to provide them with trust and return their hopes. This is what happened as a result of the decisions and new policies that will be put into practice in the Saudi stock market. What really matters has been said. It needs to be followed up by a schedule that clarifies the date where these new rules will be implemented. A timetable needs to be set regarding the companies and sectors that will be privatized. However, one question remains: What is the Ministry of Economy’s role in what happens, especially as the majority of issues discussed fall under the authority and specialization of the Ministry of Economy and Planning that remains, despite being administratively separated from the Ministry of Finance, under its dominance.

It is also obvious that the market needs trust in order to eliminate tension and worry. Many benefits emerge in critical and challenging times. Away from the comical aspect, which appeared when people were reacting to the rapid decline in the market and the market authority’s latest decisions, a few popular cries that cannot be ignored have emerged, demanding clarity and communication.

King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz intervened after becoming aware of the magnitude of psychological and social damages resulting from the stock market losses (despite the lack of solid or convincing economic reasons for the devaluation that occurred). The burden now lies on the shoulders of the concerned ministries; they have to translate the leadership’s good intentions into a reality, where a different culture and ideology administer problems, as politicians cannot interfere every time there is a crisis.

It is possible to benefit from the latest events in order to restructure, ideologically and executively, a number of sectors to strengthen people’s trust. The current situation goes beyond theoretical discussions to reach a state of executive steps that need to be seen by all.

Not all statements are the same and not all methods are the same. People are able to detect the importance of a decision and its timing. But they are always on the looked for “what comes next”. The next surprise people await is the announcement of a timetable for the new recommendations because of this matter’s great importance.