Corporate governance in Saudi Arabia: An overview of its evolution and recent trends

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Mamdouh Abdulaziz Saleh Al-Faryan ORCID logo


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In spite of growing interest in Saudi corporate governance systems, there is little literature on the evolution of Saudi corporate governance. This study helps close this gap by investigating and compiling corporate governance development in Saudi Arabia. After providing background information for Saudi Arabia and its corporate governance model, we touch on the Saudi legal system and key external institutions that helped shape its corporate governance. We examine the specific contributions of the accounting and auditing professions, and the roles of the National Anti-Corruption Commission and the Saudi Stock Exchange. We describe key reforms implemented to develop the Saudi economy and evaluate their importance in facilitating change in corporate governance practices. This study contributes as an initial point of reference for future studies on Saudi Arabia, and serves as a one stop resource for both academics and practitioners, while specifically benefitting foreign and domestic investors considering investments in Saudi Arabia.

Keywords: Capital Markets, Corporate Governance, Ownership, Foreign Direct Investment, Saudi Arabia, Saudi Legal System, Stock Market Crash

Authors’ individual contribution: The author is responsible for all the contributions to the paper according to CRediT (Contributor Roles Taxonomy) standards.

JEL Classification: G18, G34, G38, K22

Received: 20.01.2019
Accepted: 17.02.2020
Published online: 28.02.2020

How to cite this paper: Al-Faryan, M. A. S. (2020). Corporate governance in Saudi Arabia: An overview of its evolution and recent trends. Risk Governance and Control: Financial Markets & Institutions, 10(1), 23-36.