On June 15th, the opening of the Tadawul, Saudi Arabia's $600 billion Stock Exchange, allowed the roughly 165 listed companies, particularly those that are not in the oil business, to raise money directly from foreign investors, with the goal of expanding businesses, diversifying the economy and creating more jobs for the kingdom's growing population. Before then, foreigners only could access the market indirectly, through a local Saudi institution, which was costly and complicated. The stock exchange's estimated value makes it the biggest in the Middle East. Among the companies listed, petrochemical firms make up a fifth of Tadawul, with heavyweights like Saudi Basic Industries Corp. The move comes at a crucial time for the MENA Region, where revenues have suffered from a plunge in oil prices over the past year. Bringing in foreign capital may prove to be a critical boost to the economies of both OPEC Members and countries like Egypt that rely on them while simultaneously allowing US and other investors the opportunity to share in the growth potential of the Region. There are, however, regulations in place for foreign investors. Presently, only financial institutions with $5 billion or more of assets under management, and have been in operation for five or more years, are eligible to invest. This panel will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the major Capital Markets from Egypt to the Persian Gulf, and the impact from increasing participation of institutional investors and reducing the role of smaller investors, the latter of which makes up 34.4 percent of the stock market ownership but accounts for nearly 90 percent of trading activity.