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What is Al-Maarifa?

“Al-Maarifa” is the Arabic term for “The Knowledge” and it is also the name of our microsite that is exclusively dedicated to our Saudi Arabian practice. Al-Maarifa is a way for us to share our market-leading legal knowledge of the Kingdom with our clients in a unique and innovative way that demonstrates our commitment to always putting our clients first.

Who are we?

With a greater footprint in the Kingdom than any other international law firm, we are uniquely aligned with our domestic clients and our foreign clients looking to do business in the Kingdom. The combination of our history of advising both domestic and foreign clients on their largest and most significant deals in the region for over 40 years and our on-the-ground presence in Riyadh through our association with The Law Firm of Dr. Sultan Almasoud, provides our clients with access to an integrated team that has an intimate understanding of both the cultural and legal landscape of the Kingdom.

We have extensive experience across a broad range of practice areas, including project development and finance, mergers & acquisitions, foreign and domestic joint ventures, privatizations, private equity and Saudi corporate advisory, capital markets, dispute resolution and litigation in Saudi courts.
  • CMA Announces New Rules for Ownership in Listed Companies by Foreign Strategic Investors
    As part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to regulate and develop the capital markets and to facilitate foreign investment, the Capital Market Authority (CMA) has approved the Instructions for Foreign Strategic Investors’ Ownership in Listed Companies (the “FSI Instructions”), which came into effect on June 26, 2019. The FSI Instructions have removed the existing limit on the foreign ownership of a Saudi-listed company for foreign strategic investors (FSIs) that meet the FSI Instructions’ criteria, allowing them to take controlling stakes in Saudi-listed companies. The FSI Instructions are complementary to the “Rules for Qualified Foreign Financial Institutions Investment in Listed Securities” (the “QFI Rules”) approved by the CMA in 2015 (as amended).
  • Offering Securities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

    On 31 December 2017, the Capital Market Authority (the "CMA") published the Rules on the Offer of Securities and Continuing Obligations ("ROSCO"), which were approved by CMA Board Resolution No. 3-123-2017 dated 9/4/1439H (corresponding to 27 December 2017). In the same Board Resolution, the CMA Board also approved the Listing Rules (the "Listing Rules") of the Saudi Stock Exchange (“Tadawul”).
    The ROSCO and the Listing Rules are effective as of 1 April 2018 and have replaced:
    • the Offer of Securities Regulations approved by CMA Board Resolution No. 2-11-2004 dated 20/8/1425H (corresponding to 4 October 2004), as amended;
    • the Listing Rules approved by CMA Board Resolution No. 3-11-2004 dated 20/8/1425H (corresponding to 4 October 2004), as amended; and
    • the Parallel Market Listing Rules approved by CMA Board Resolution No. 3-151-2016 dated 22/3/1438H (corresponding to 21 December 2016).
    This article sets out a high-level overview of the new legal framework governing the offering of securities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (the “Kingdom”).
    CATEGORY : Capital Markets
  • Shearman & Sterling Contributes to Global Legal Insights – Initial Public Offerings
    Shearman & Sterling attorneys acted as contributing editors and contributors to Global Legal Insights: Initial Public Offerings (First edition, Global Legal Group, 2017), published by Global Legal Group Ltd, London. The guide covers the key steps, legal issues and market practices involved in the initial public offering process by examining practices in jurisdictions around the world. 
    CATEGORY : Capital Markets
  • New Saudi Qualified Foreign Investor Rules and IPO BookBuilding Instructions Approved
    This year has witnessed remarkable legal developments in the capital markets landscape of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In particular, the Capital Market Authority of the Kingdom (“CMA”) approved the amended Rules for Qualified Foreign Financial Institutions Investment in Listed Securities (the “QFI Rules”), which came into effect on 4 September 2016. Another significant legal development is the CMA’s approval of the Instructions of Book Building Process and Allocation Method in Initial Public Offerings (the “Book Building Instructions”), which will become effective on 1 January 2017. These legal developments are part of the Kingdom’s ongoing efforts to grow its capital market, which has the largest market capitalisation in the MENA region, by facilitating foreign investment.
    CATEGORY : Capital Markets