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Atheeb gets nod for $310m rights issue

Riyadh, December 19, 2011

Saudi Arabia's Etihad Atheeb Telecom has received regulatory approval to launch a 1.175 billion riyals ($310 million) capital increase, paving the way for the loss-making firm to resume trading on the kingdom's bourse.

Atheeb, 15-percent owned by Bahrain Telecommunications Co, will issue the 117.5 million shares at a nominal value of 10 riyals per share to raise its capital to 1.575 billion riyals, the operator said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

Atheeb, which operates under the brand name GO and was awarded a fixed line licence in 2009, will hold an extraordinary shareholder meeting to decide at what price to sell the new shares, with the rights issue restricted to existing shareholders.    

The firm's shares were suspended in May after its accumulated losses reached 95 percent. Saudi market rules call for a suspension if losses exceed 75 percent.

Atheeb then cut its capital by 60 percent to 400 million riyals to cover some of these losses, with the rights issue to follow ahead of its resuming trading.

"(This will) be discussed with regulatory bodies and we are sure the suspension will be lifted in the appropriate time," Atheeb said in the statement. No date was announced for the shareholder meeting. - Reuters




Tags: Saudi Arabia | Telecom | rights issue | Atheeb | GO |

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