Saudi Arabia’s market regulator the Capital Market Authority has suspended trading of shares in local telecoms firm Etihad Atheeb after full year losses for 2010 totalled 95 per cent of the firm’s capital.

The company announced a loss of SR575m ($153m) for the full year, up from SR379m in 2009.

The company blamed the losses on ‘uncompetitive practices’ in the telecoms sector in Saudi Arabia. The firm has now filed a complaint with the Commerce and Industry Ministry’s Competition Protection Council.

Etihad Atheeb offers fixed-line telecoms services in Saudi Arabia and started operations in January 2010. The Capital Market Authority, which regulates the stock exchange, issued a statement on 24 May confirming that trading in the company’s shares would be suspended because of the heavy losses.