Saudi bourse regulator fines Banque Saudi Fransi

Saudi Arabia's financial regulator has slapped a $13,000 fine on major lender Banque Saudi Fransi for violating stock market disclosure rules, the watchdog said on Sunday.

Fransi, in which France's Calyon holds a minority stake, was fined 50,000 riyals ($13,330) for failing to swiftly disclose changes in its board, the Capital Market Authority (CMA) said in a statement on the bourse website.

Like others in the Gulf region, Saudi Arabia's stock exchange has been dogged by allegations that it lacks transparency and is vulnerable to price manipulation.

But the bourse is gradually opening up to direct foreign ownership amid tough competition from regional bourses and over the past two years the CMA has stepped up efforts to clamp down on irregularities, imposing one jail sentence and revoking the licences of dozens of brokerage firms for violations.

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