Saudi Arabia Image Credit: Pixabay

Riyadh: Record foreign selling of Saudi Arabian stocks in the wake of last month’s killing of government critic Jamal Khashoggi put the breaks on a 10-month streak of international investments in the Middle East’s five biggest stock markets.

Net foreign outflows from Saudi Arabia were $1.7 billion, while most other markets had inflows, according to a report by Mohammad Al Hajj, a strategist at the research arm of EFG-Hermes Holding SAE in Dubai. Total outflows from the region were $1.4 billion.

Volatility in the main Saudi stock gauge surged last month after Khashoggi’s murder at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul, and net sales by foreign investors were the highest since the local exchange started providing the data in 2015. Foreigners also exited Kuwait’s market, but at a much slower rate. By contrast, they were net buyers in Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, Al Hajj wrote.