Atheeb shares suspended as losses mount
Riyadh, May 25, 2011
Saudi Arabia's bourse regulator has suspended trading in Atheeb Telecom shares after the fixed line provider announced mounting losses, violating local market rules.
Atheeb, which is 15 percent-owned by Bahrain Telecommunications Co (Bateloc), now has accumulated losses of 95 percent of its capital, according to a statement on the Saudi bourse website.
Saudi market rules call for a suspension if losses exceed 75 percent.
The operator posted a loss of 575 million riyals ($153.3 million) for the financial year ended March 31, prompting the Capital Market Authority (CMA) to halt trading in the shares from Wednesday.
The halt will be in place 'until the company changes its situation', the statement said. 'If after the expiration of six months from the time of this decision, the company does not take any necessary measures to improve its situation, the committee will take the appropriate measures,' the CMA added.
This could mean delisting Atheeb if the regulator believes 'the level of operations for the issuer or its assets do not justify continuous trading of securities on the bourse'.
Atheeb, which operates under the brand name GO, was awarded a Saudi fixed line services license in 2009. - Reuters