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Sun 2 Oct 2016 11:11 AM

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Saudi Arabia suspends telecom shares on licensing move

Securities regulator takes action after the Saudi government decided to extend licences of telecom operators

Saudi Arabia suspends telecom shares on licensing move

Saudi Arabia's securities regulator has suspended trade in the shares of the kingdom's listed telecommunications operators after the government decided to extend their licences, the Capital Market Authority (CMA) said on Sunday.

The CMA said it was acting after the government decided to extend the licence of Zain Saudi Arabia for 15 years, and also allow other telecommunications firms to extend their licences. The government would be entitled to 5 percent of each company's annual net income during the extension period.

In addition, the government said it would provide Zain and the other firms with "unified licences" allowing them to offer all telecommunications services. It did not give details of the new licences.

Shares in Zain Saudi, Etihad Etisalat (Mobily), Saudi Telecom Co and Atheeb Telecommunication Co will be suspended until the companies announce the impact of the government's order on them, the CMA said.

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