Atheeb Telecom suspended from Saudi bourse

Shares in Saudi Arabian converged operator suspended as losses mount
Atheeb Telecom, one of Saudi Arabia's fixed-wireless operators, has struggled amid tough competition in the country.
Atheeb Telecom, one of Saudi Arabia's fixed-wireless operators, has struggled amid tough competition in the country.


Atheeb Telecom, a Saudi Arabian fixed-wireless operator, has been suspended from trading on Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange after its losses reached 95% of its capital.

Under Saudi Arabia’s market rules, companies must be suspended from the bourse if their losses exceed 75% of their capital.

The suspension will be in place "until the company changes its situation", according to a statement posted on the Saudi Arabian bourse website.

Atheeb Telecom, which is 15% owned by Bahraini incumbent Batelco, blamed “unfair competition” for its mounting losses, according to a statement posted on the Saudi bourse website, Reuters reported.

"The company incurred in the recent period large losses of capital as a result of uncompetitive behaviour and practices from the controlling operator," Prince Abdul-Aziz Ahmed bin Abdul-Aziz, chairman of Atheeb Telecom, said in a statement.

"The company was prevented from offering some services such as international calls and prepaid cards as stipulated in the license."
He also blamed the country’s telecoms regulator, the Communication and Information Technology Commission, and added that a hearing against the organization would be held on May 28, the report added.

In January 2011, Atheeb said that it planned to seek shareholder approval for a SR600 million ($160 million) rights issue after racking up losses amounting to 75% of its capital, or about SR750 million ($200 million).

During the nine-month period to 31 December 2010, Atheeb Telecom, which offer fixed voice and data services via its WiMAX network, made a net loss of SR453 million, according to a posting on the Saudi bourse website.

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