Saudi Arabia: 11 accused of stock market manipulation

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The Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) in Riyadh. For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Reuters

Abu Dhabi: The Saudi Capital Market Authority referred 11 suspects to the Public Prosecution for allegedly carrying out manipulative and misleading practices in the stock market.

They reportedly illegally traded shares of Anaam Holding and Al Kathiri over the past 11 months, from December 2019 until last month, by entering purchase orders with the aim of influencing the share prices, the Capital Market Authority said.

According to Okaz, the shares of Anaam Holding Company rose by 1,106 per cent from its lowest to highest annual price, as its lowest annual price reached 18.44 riyals, while its highest reached 222.4.

The book value of the company’s share is only 1.38 riyals. Meanwhile the shares of Al Kathiri Company rose by 224 per cent from their lowest price last year, compared to the highest level recorded year on year.

The Capital Market Authority vowed to pursue the manipulators in the financial market by monitoring their transactions and any suspicious cases, and to quickly take measures to enhance the efficiency of the financial market.

It also pledged to protect dealers from illegal practices and ensure that they are not exposed to deception or manipulation.

It indicated that the General Secretariat of the Committees for Resolution of Securities Disputes announces to the public on its website names of the violators when final decisions are issued in criminal cases.

Any persons affected by these violations will have the right sue the violators and demand compensation before the committee, the capital market said.