Saudi king orders crackdown over stock market manipulation: report


JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia — King Abdullah has ordered a crackdown on manipulation of Saudi Arabia’s booming stock market, insisting action should be taken if necessary against improper trading by members of the royal family, the daily Alsharq newspaper reported on Monday. In an unusual message to the chairman of the Capital Market Authority (CMA), the king said trading rules should be applied to everyone including royals, the newspaper reported. The country’s extended royal family has thousands of members.

“With the current return of investors to the stock market, there has been a return of some violations that require investigation and accountability, requiring violators’ cases to be looked at by the specialized legal authority,” the newspaper quoted the king as telling Abdulrahman al-Tuwaijri. King Abdullah was also quoted as saying some of the violations were being committed by members of the royal family, who had continued their actions despite warnings, putting them in a position to be investigated and even taken to court. A spokesman for the CMA declined to comment. Saudi Arabia is a monarchy with no elected parliament, and the most senior positions are occupied by high-ranking royals, some of whom also have extensive business interests.