The Saudi Arabian Stock Market has grown over the last twenty years and is now the largest in the Arab world, with a capitalization of $500 billion. The number of joint stock companies which trade shares has increased steadily. There are about 80 firms listed on the stock market. The market is supervised by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA)
which, in 1997, approved the participation of international investors in the Saudi stock market through mutual funds. The number of shares traded during 1997 was 312.4 million, valued at $16.6 billion. In 2006 this increased to 68.52 billion valued at SR 5,261 billion.