August 19, 2015 / 2:02 PM / 3 years ago

Saudi stock market plunge not caused by govt selling shares -agency

DUBAI, Aug 19 (Reuters) - A Saudi Arabian official denied media reports that this month’s plunge of the Saudi stock market was due to government bodies selling shares to raise money following the drop in oil prices, state news agency SPA reported on Wednesday.

“An official source announced that this claim is utterly and totally not correct,” SPA said without naming the official or specifying where the media reports appeared.

The official was quoted as saying that daily stock exchange data showed there had not been any unusual selling or buying of shares by the government or related bodies in recent days or weeks.

The main Saudi stock index has plunged 12 percent this month as local retail investors dump shares in response to a fresh slide of oil prices, which has slashed the government’s oil revenues, and high valuations of shares, which have deterred foreign investors from buying. (Reporting by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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