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Saudi billionaire makes $500 million wager on Russia at begin of struggle

(Bloomberg) — Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal invested greater than $500 million in Russian corporations round Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, an indication of the cautious political place the Gulf state has maintained with its OPEC+ accomplice.

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Prince Alwaleed’s funding agency Kingdom Holding Co. purchased depositary receipts issued by Gazprom PSJC, Lukoil PJSC and Rosneft PJSC in February, based on a inventory trade submitting. Russia invaded Ukraine on February twenty fourth.

No particular dates got for the investments, and the Saudi firm didn’t reply to questions on whether or not it nonetheless had them. The worth of all these depositary receipts fell quickly after the beginning of the struggle, when buying and selling in Moscow was suspended and Western sanctions have been imposed on Russia.

Alwaleed, whose grandfather was the founder of recent Saudi Arabia, is among the nation’s richest males and a well known worldwide investor. Extra just lately, he has been eclipsed by the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, chaired by his cousin, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, which acquired a 16.9% stake in Kingdom Holding Co. in might

Saudi Wealth Fund takes $1.5 billion stake in Alwaleed firm

The investments spotlight Saudi Arabia’s fragile relationship with Russia amid the battle, which has seen a lot of its Gulf neighbors withdraw.

President Vladimir Putin and the dominion’s de facto Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have spoken a number of instances because the struggle started. Each international locations have labored collectively inside the OPEC+ oil producer group to manage crude provides, largely resisting calls from Western leaders together with US President Joe Biden to assist tackle international inflation issues by growing oil output.

The Ritz-Carlton

Prince Alwaleed was detained at a Ritz-Carlton resort within the Saudi capital in 2017 together with different princes and officers as a part of what the dominion known as an anti-corruption investigation. No formal prices have been ever filed and he was launched after 83 days, after reaching an unspecified “confirmed understanding” with the federal government.

Kingdom Holding invested 1.37 billion riyals ($365 million) in Gazprom’s U.S. depositary receipts in February, the most important stake disclosed to this point this 12 months. It additionally invested 196 million riyals in Rosneft’s international depositary receipts in the identical month and 410 million riyals in Lukoil’s US depositary receipts between February and March.

The acquisition is a part of Kingdom Holding’s funding program targeted on various finance, vitality, leisure, synthetic intelligence, insurance coverage, asset administration, commodities and funds.

Different investments

The Saudi agency invested $3.4 billion in international shares and depositary receipts by 2020, primarily based on the submitting, a uncommon disclosure by the corporate. The biggest stake was an funding valued at 2.5 billion riyals in Spain’s Telefonica SA between April and August 2020.

It additionally reported stakes in Uber Applied sciences Inc., TotalEnergies SE, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and BHP Group Ltd., acquired principally in 2020 and 2021. The final deal it disclosed was a 178 million riyal stake in Hercules Capital Inc. in June. Shares of the enterprise capital agency have risen by 17% because the starting of July.

Prince Alwaleed, 67, grew to become probably the most outstanding buyers in Saudi Arabia after taking stakes in corporations resembling Citigroup Inc. and Apple Inc. He has supported Prince Mohammed’s modernization efforts, together with giving girls driving privileges.

He just lately introduced the sale of a stake in his Rotana Music label to Warner Music Group Corp., and he raised $2.2 billion by promoting a part of his stake within the 4 Seasons resort chain to Invoice Gates’ Cascade Funding LLC.

Alwaleed is understood for long-term investments and is a fan of the well-known investor Warren Buffett. He as soon as known as himself the Arabic equal of the Oracle of Omaha.

(Updates with info within the fifth and sixth paragraphs)

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