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Saudi bourse in row with TV networks over fees

Saudi bourse in row with TV networks over fees. (AFP)

By Staff Writer

Saudi Arabia's bourse, the largest stock market in the Middle East, has been locked in a rift with local and foreign television networks over its decision to impose fees on them for live transmission of share dealing.

Saudi newspapers said yesterday several TV networks had refused to pay SR3 million (Dh2.97m) a year in line with a decision enforced by Tadawul stock exchange at the start of 2010.

The newspapers quoted Tadawul's Director-General Abdullah Al Suwailmi as denying holding negotiations with those networks on a possible revision of the decision, which affects all local TV stations and foreign satellite networks.

"There are no negotiations to reconsider this decisions. All of them must understand these new procedures. There is no intention to abolish the decision to impose fees," Al Suwailmi told the Saudi Arabic language daily Al Watan.

According to the paper, Saudi TV stations had agreed not to pay fees on the grounds the sum is high compared to the service offered by Tadawul.

"Television stations in Saudi Arabia and other countries have succeeded in stimulating dealing at Tadawul as they have attracted a large number of investors from the kingdom and around the world," it quoted a TV source as saying.

Al Watan said under the new fee system, TV networks are charged SR3m for live broadcast of share prices and other data from Tadawul, and SR1.5m for post-dated transmission for five minutes. Delayed broadcast for 15 minutes is free of charge.

"During its daily coverage of Tadawul, Alarabiya TV station this week noted that the prices and names of companies it was showing were not live but post-dated for 15 minutes,'' it said.


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