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Saudi body rules on insider trading in Mobily shares

By Tom Arnold

DUBAI (Reuters) - A special Saudi Arabia committee has found a number of individuals guilty of providing insider information and insider trading in shares of telecoms operator Mobily <7020.SE>, leaving them facing potential jail terms of between one and two years, the kingdom's Capital Market Authority (CMA) said on Thursday.

The findings of Saudi Arabia's Committee for the Resolution of Securities Disputes (CRSD) are not final and the accused have 30 days to lodge an appeal, the CMA said.

The CMA did not name the accused or say how many there were.

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The action follows an investigation launched by the CMA in November 2014 after Mobily, part-owned by Abu Dhabi-based Etisalat <ETEL.AD> and formally known as Etihad Etisalat, was forced to restate 27 months of earnings because of accounting errors. The restatement cut 1.76 billion riyals ($469 million) from the company's profit over the period.

Mobily, the second-largest telecoms company in Saudi Arabia, declined to comment. Etisalat representatives were not immediately available for comment.

The CMA said that the ruling by the CRSD, a quasi-judicial body formed under the kingdom's Capital Market Law, included a fine of 30.5 million riyals for one of the suspects and a further 284.5 million riyal fine for an unnamed company.

All those found guilty would also be banned from managing portfolios, working as investment consultants or working in listed companies for three years, the CMA said.

The CMA added that the CRSD's ruling cited the kingdom's Capital Market Law on obtaining insider information about a company and Market Conduct Regulations that ban the disclosure of inside information or insider trading.

(Editing by David Goodman)