Saudi Finance Ministry called on to avoid market crash

Published March 14th, 2006 - 10:39 GMT

Saudi Shoura Council members Monday demanded that the Kingdom's Finance Ministry and governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) take immediate steps to prevent a stock market crash as stocks plunged to new lows, sending shockwaves among investors.


“Such a move is essential to allay fears of the public over the unjustifiable stock market crash,” said Muhammad Al Qunaibet, a Shoura member and deputy chairman of the Committee for Economic and Energy Affairs, according to Arab News.


 “What is happening now at the stock market is not a correction but a crash,” he added while speaking before the weekly Council meeting.


Another Shoura member, Abdul Rahman Al Mushaikeh, agreed with Qunaibet’s stand, saying that the government should step in to ease investors' fears.


“Saudis need reassuring statements from responsible officials about the present situation of the market,”  he said.


The TASI declined 789.58 points on Monday, reflecting a drop of 4.81 percent, to close at 15,641.69 points.


The index lost 6.41 percent this year after closing at 16,712.64 points on Dec. 31, 2005, following a surge of over 103 percent in that year. All 78 stocks on the TASI were in the red yesterday.


Additionally, the Banking and Industrial indexes also fell, with the Banking Index dropping 1,949.19 points at 40,770.80 and the Industrial Index falling 1,860.27 points at 35,817.64.


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