Since the time that global investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was released by Saudi authorities on Saturday last week, there has bene an increase of $1 billion in his personal wealth.
There has ben a sharp rise in the shares of Kingdom Holding — Alwaleed’s firm that has sizable investments in companies like Apple, Twitter and Citigroup since he was released. He had been imprisoned for almost three months in Saudi Arabia following a crackdown on corruption.
Alwaleed was held at the luxury Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh after he was arrested in November together with many other royals, government officials and prominent businessmen.
95 per cent of Kingdom Holding is owned by Alwaleed. That translates to an increase in his personal wealth of just over $1 billion in just two days. This rise in the shares has completely offset the losses it had made following his arrest.
Because there has been no public announcement of the conditions of eh release of the billionaire prince, therefore many are skeptical about how much of his wealth he would be able to retain.
Other people who had bene arrested in the crackdown were only set free after they agreed to settlements involving transfer of cash and other assets to Saudi authorities.
There have been no comments from Kingdom Holding.
There were “no charges” against him and he had no intention to leave the kingdom, Alwaleed had told the media just hours before his release. The price said that the ownership of Kingdom Holding is expected ot be retained by him.
“If the ownership remains unchanged, the stock is likely to recover given that the underlying business of the company would remain as it is and the management would be back as usual,” said Mazen Al Sudairi, head of research at Al Rajhi Capital in Riyadh.
“Even if the ownership changes hands to the government, the company would be managed well enough to ensure that the stock price returns back to its fair value,” he added.
In order to explain what took place during the mass arrests, an international road show is being planned in February by the Saudi government so that any foreign investor alarmed by the episode can be reassured. The government desires that investors commit investment to support the attempts of the government of economic transformation of the country.
$17 billion is the estimated wealth of Alwaleed. Kingdom Holding is a global powerhouse now and is in-charge of management of assets worth $12.5 billion.
The company was started in 1979 when it was engaged in making investments in the real estate and construction industry in Saudi Arabia. However, the prince quickly shifted to banking.
In 1991, the prince became one of Citi’s major shareholders and this event was noted by Wall Street.
(Adapted from Bloomberg.com)