Saudi Arabian government orders liquidation of SITC

6 Jun 2013

The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology has ordered the liquidation of failed start-up Saudi Integrated Telecoms Company (SITC), which undertook a SAR300 million (USD80 million) initial public offering (IPO) in 2011. Trade Arabia reported that about 20 investors protested outside the offices of the Capital Market Authority (CMA) on 4 June 2013, although demonstrations in the Kingdom are banned, as investors are likely to face substantial losses from the move. The company announced it would appeal against the liquidation order, as SITC’s spokesman Ibrahim Alnaseri stated that the potential legal actions ’will depend on the rules of liquidation, which are supposed to be set by the liquidation committee’.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in September 2012 the company was fined SAR200,000 by the CMA, for allegedly violating markets and listing rules. Subsequently, in February this year trading in SITC shares was suspended, after the Communications and IT Commission (CITC) requested the termination of the company’s licence. The telecoms ministry cancelled SITC’s operating licence in May 2013, and under the Royal Decree the financially troubled telecoms company was to be liquidated within the next six months with priority in the repayment of its obligations to its non-founding shareholders.