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Thursday, 2 July 2009

Saudi Arabian bourse feels watchdog’s bite

It has happened twice. In February 2006 and last October, millions of Saudis saw their savings evaporate overnight as the Saudi bourse, the Arab world’s biggest, crashed.

As the index plummeted, anger rose among retail investors who had ploughed family savings and loans into the market hoping for a quick gain. They accused the government of turning a blind eye to “big sharks” who manipulated the market.

But, in what analysts say is a move towards greater transparency, the Capital Market Authority, the market regulator, took a rare step late last month and fined two Saudi investors SR100,000 ($26,673) each for insider trading.

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