Dubai: Foreigers bought $1 billion (Dh3.67 billion) of shares on Saudi Exchange Tadawul, the biggest figure since 2015, as traders positioned themselves to take advantage of the inclusion in the emerging market indices later in the year.

Foreigners bought $1.185 billion worth of shares in January, while GCC investors bought $176 million of shares, data showed. In the week ending January 31, foreigners bought $483 million worth of shares.

“This buying is maninly because of the inclusion factor. As we move closer to inclusion day, Saudi foreign buying of Saudi stocks is expected to continue,” Mohammad Shabbir, head of funds and portfolios at Saudi Kuwaiti Finance House (SKFH) told Gulf News from Riyadh.Saudi corporate buying was placed at $443 million, while Saudi retail investors were the biggest sellers on the bourse.

The FTSE is expected to include the Tadawul on the emerging market index in March, and that would be followed by the MSCI in June. These large inflows have resulted in an 8.87 per cent jump in the Tadawul over the last 10 trading sessions, dwarfing flat performance of the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) general index or even on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) general index, which has gained only 4 per cent since January 1.