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Thu 4 Feb 2010 09:24 AM

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Saudi cancels 500 foreign investors' licences

Authorities say licences withdrawn due to “failures to comply with licensing conditions”.

500 business licences were revoked from foreign investors in Saudi Arabia in 2009 following inspections of their activities, the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) has said.

The authority said the licences were withdrawn due to “failures to comply with licensing conditions”, without providing further details, according to the Saudi Gazette.

The Eastern Province director of Service Centres at SAGIA, Muhammad Al-Khars, told the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Dammam that he expected a further 1,000 licenses to be revoked in 2010.

According to the paper, Al-Khars said that foreign investors were first permitted to engage in business activity in 2006 when as part of the first stage they were allowed to own 51 percent of a commercial operation.

A second phase of the move brought in later saw that figure rise to 75 percent, and since the move was permitted SAGIA has granted 8,000 licenses for business with foreign owners.

Al-Khars added that SAGIA had reduced the capital required for foreign investment from SR2 million to SR100, 000.

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