Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed back at work after detention, company says

Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal sits for an interview with Reuters in the office of the suite where he has been detained at the Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (File Photo: Reuters)
Updated 01 February 2018

Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed back at work after detention, company says

RIYADH: Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is back on the job as chairman of global investment firm Kingdom Holding after being released from detention in an anti-corruption campaign, the company said on Thursday.
Prince Alwaleed, one of the country’s top international investors, was freed on Saturday, nearly three months after being taken into custody along with dozens of senior officials and businessmen on the orders of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Most detainees have been released, after settlements secured just over $100 billion from members of the elite, the attorney general has said, without providing details.
In his first interview since being detained, conducted hours before his release, Prince Alwaleed told Reuters he maintained his innocence and expected to keep full control of his firm.
A senior Saudi official would not confirm that claim but said any settlements included an admission of guilt.
In the absence of more information, speculation has run rampant about whether Prince Alwaleed secured his freedom by handing over part of his fortune — previously estimated by Forbes magazine at $17 billion — or stood up to the authorities and won.
He and other tycoons face a challenge to get back into the swing of running their financial empires in the uncertainty hanging over the business community since their detention.
Prince Alwaleed, a nephew of King Salman, holds stakes in major international companies including Citigroup, Twitter, and ride-hailing firm Lyft.
In the first few days after his detention, Kingdom Holding’s share price plunged 23 percent, erasing $2.2 billion of his personal fortune on paper.
After a jump this week, the stock has regained almost all that it lost, but during his detention the overall stock market rose 10 percent. Kingdom shares do not reflect that gain, suggesting investors are still discounting the stock.
Kingdom published a photo of Prince Alwaleed reviewing documents behind a large wooden desk and still sporting the grey beard he grew in detention.
“We are very pleased to welcome back (His Royal Highness) Prince Alwaleed to continue his important work as Chairman of Kingdom Holding Company,” Chief Executive Talal Almaimansaid said.
The firm’s strategy is aligned with the Vision 2030 reform agenda “to create strong investor appeal and a business environment in which KHC and our partners can flourish,” he added.


Saudi Arabia health care summit to accelerate global COVID-19 fight

Updated 50 min 44 sec ago

Saudi Arabia health care summit to accelerate global COVID-19 fight

  • Representatives from the World Health Organization, UK National Health Service, IBM and many other industry leaders to speak at online event.
  • The ‘Riyadh Declaration’ will provide a roadmap for using digital innovations to fight this pandemic and those of the future.

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will this month host one of the world’s largest health care summits that aims to unite global efforts against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The event will bring together health care leaders and innovators from across the world to foster new collaborations and discuss the vital role of digital health in fighting pandemics.

Taking place online on Aug. 11-12, the Riyadh Global Digital Health Summit (RGDHS) will host directors from the World Health Organization and the UK’s National Health Service, IBM’s chief health officer, and Australia’s deputy chief medical officer.

The event’s flagship talk will be hosted by the Kingdom’s Minister of Health Dr. Tawfig Al-Rabiah, and will introduce the “Riyadh Declaration” — a roadmap for accelerating digital health innovations to fight the current and future pandemics.

Dr. Bandar Al-Knawy, president of the RGDHS, said the event was far more than a health care conference.

“It is a global digital platform bringing together people who have the ability to work collaboratively to accelerate our response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

“Health care professionals must now seize this opportunity to build on previous strides forward in digital health.”