Billionaire Alwaleed bin Talal to sell $1.5bn stake in Kingdom Holding to Saudi sovereign fund

Billionaire Alwaleed bin Talal to sell $1.5bn stake in Kingdom Holding to Saudi sovereign fund
Upon completion of the transaction, Alwaleed bin Talal’s ownership will reduce to 78.13 percent. (AFP/File)
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Updated 22 May 2022

Billionaire Alwaleed bin Talal to sell $1.5bn stake in Kingdom Holding to Saudi sovereign fund

Billionaire Alwaleed bin Talal to sell $1.5bn stake in Kingdom Holding to Saudi sovereign fund

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has entered a deal to buy a SR5.7 billion ($1.5 billion) stake in Kingdom Holding Co. from Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

A 16.87-percent stake, representing 625 million shares of Kingdom Holding, will be transferred to the PIF, according to a bourse filing.

Upon completion of the transaction, Alwaleed bin Talal’s ownership will be reduced to 78.13 percent.

Founded in 1980, Riyadh-based Kingdom Holding is engaged in investment activities across diversified sectors.

In response to the move, the investment firm’s shares soared 8.8 percent to lead the gainers in early Sunday trading, with a share price of SR9.89 as of 10:53 a.m. Saudi time.

The Saudi sovereign wealth fund aims to more than double this growth — targeting around SR4 trillion in assets under management by 2025, with a focus on contributing billions of dollars to the Kingdom’s non-oil gross domestic product.

Several non-oil sectors have been identified as priority sectors in its diversification plan, such as housing, healthcare and financial services.

But it was tourism that saw the first major announcement from the PIF in 2021.

The fund invests outside the Kingdom as a way of bringing value to the Saudi economy. The next four years will be key for the PIF as the Kingdom draws ever nearer to 2030.

It is a key player in the Kingdom’s diversification strategy, particularly in achieving the Vision 2030 goals. 

Since the approval of its new strategy in 2016, PIF has created 47 companies and generated more than 400,000 jobs directly and indirectly through their projects and ventures.

The fund reduced its ownership of US equities by 22 percent to $43.6 billion by the end of the first quarter of 2022, against $55.9 billion it held a quarter earlier.

PIF cut its stake in three companies —Visa Inc., Plug Power, and Walmart, Argaam reported, citing a filing by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

However, it increased its holdings in Take-Two Interactive, PayPal, Alibaba, and Farfetch Ltd.

While it exited its stake in Just Eat Takeaway.com, five new investments were made by the sovereign fund in Carnival, Babylon, SIGNA Sports United NV, Meta Platforms, and Sea Ltd.

Most recently, PIF announced the launch of Saudi Coffee Co., aimed at turning Saudi coffee beans into a global product with $320 million to be invested in the next 10 years.

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Return of the leopard is at the heart of plans to conserve and regenerate Saudi Arabia’s landscapes and wildlife

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Careem acquires money transfer technology platform Denarii

Careem acquires money transfer technology platform Denarii
Updated 24 sec ago

Careem acquires money transfer technology platform Denarii

Careem acquires money transfer technology platform Denarii

RIYADH: Careem, the ride-hailing and e-commerce platform, has acquired Denarii, a Dubai-based money transfer platform, in its second acquisition this month.

While the company has not disclosed the value of the deal, this acquisition will allow Careem to integrate Denarii’s technologies and assets into its platform.

Some key members of the Denarii team will also join Careem as part of the acquisition, MAGNiTT reported. 

Careem will use Denarii’s technology for its Careem Pay feature, to connect customers and Captains with remittance services provided by licensed providers. 

“Denarii’s innovative API will accelerate our journey to offering simple and affordable international remittance services, adding to the wide variety of services already available through Careem Pay,” Mudassir Sheikha, CEO and co-founder of Careem said. 


JPMorgan warns oil may hit $380 a barrel if Russia begins retaliatory production cuts

JPMorgan warns oil may hit $380 a barrel if Russia begins retaliatory production cuts
Updated 2 min 35 sec ago

JPMorgan warns oil may hit $380 a barrel if Russia begins retaliatory production cuts

JPMorgan warns oil may hit $380 a barrel if Russia begins retaliatory production cuts

RIYADH: Amid ongoing geopolitical tensions and skyrocketing energy rates, global oil prices may hit $380 a barrel if the US and European curbs compel Russia to inflict retaliatory crude output cuts, Bloomberg reported citing analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

It was after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that the Western allies led by the US imposed several sanctions, and worked out a complicated mechanism to cap the price fetched by Russian oil.

According to JPMorgan analysts including Natasha Kaneva, currently Russia enjoys a strong financial position and it can afford to slash daily crude production by 5 million barrels.

The analysts noted that Russia’s crude production cuts could be disastrous for the world, as a cut of 3 million barrels will elevate London crude prices to $190. In the worst-case scenario, if the output is cut by 5 million barrels, the price could reach as high as $380 a barrel.

“The most obvious and likely risk with a price cap is that Russia might choose retaliate by reducing exports as a way to inflict pain on the West,” wrote the analysts.


SABB appoints new CEO to lead corporate and institutional banking

SABB appoints new CEO to lead corporate and institutional banking
Updated 15 min 5 sec ago

SABB appoints new CEO to lead corporate and institutional banking

SABB appoints new CEO to lead corporate and institutional banking

RIYADH: The Saudi British Bank has appointed Yasser Ali Al-Barrak as its new CEO for corporate and institutional banking from this month.

The appointment of Al-Barrak will take effect on July 1, the bank said in a press statement.

Al-Barrak joined SABB in 2012 and has held many leadership positions, most recently being the general manager of global corporate and institutional banking, the statement said.

“The appointment of Yasser is a testament to the success of career growth plans at SABB, which is a major player in managing our most valuable assets, our people,” said SABB Managing Director & CEO Tony Cripps.

Established in 1978, SABB is an associate of the HSBC Group and a Saudi joint-stock company. It was named Saudi’s best bank for 2022, the statement added.

The bank provides retail, corporate, investment, private, and treasury services and has a paid-up capital of SR20.5 billion ($5.46 billion).


Crypto Moves — Bitcoin slips; Voyager Digital suspends operations

Crypto Moves — Bitcoin slips; Voyager Digital suspends operations
Updated 03 July 2022

Crypto Moves — Bitcoin slips; Voyager Digital suspends operations

Crypto Moves — Bitcoin slips; Voyager Digital suspends operations

RIYADH: Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency worldwide, traded lower on Sunday, falling by 0.93 percent to $19,033.92 at 9 a.m. Riyadh time.

Ethereum, the second most traded cryptocurrency, was priced at $1,057.11, rising by 1.15 percent, according to data from CoinDesk.

Voyager Digital suspends withdrawals and deposits 

To preserve its platform’s value, Voyager Digital on Friday announced it had suspended withdrawals, trading, and deposits, according to Reuters. 

A default notice was issued to embattled hedge fund Three Arrows Capital just days earlier for the fund’s failure to make required payments.

According to Voyager CEO Stephen Ehrlich, the move gives the company more time to consider strategic alternatives with various interested parties while preserving its value.

The company announced that it had hired financial advisers Moelis & Co., Consello Group, and legal advisers Kirkland & Ellis LLP “to support its exploration of strategic alternatives.”

Voyager’s crypto assets are worth $685 million, compared to the more than $1.12 billion it has lent in crypto assets. The company said it lent $350 million and 15,250 bitcoins to 3AC. 

Voyager’s move comes less than a month after Celsius Network suspended withdrawals due to extreme market conditions. Customers of Celsius have not yet been able to withdraw money again.

(With inputs from Reuters)


Saudi mall operator Abdullah Al Othaim cancels IPO plans 

Saudi mall operator Abdullah Al Othaim cancels IPO plans 
Updated 03 July 2022

Saudi mall operator Abdullah Al Othaim cancels IPO plans 

Saudi mall operator Abdullah Al Othaim cancels IPO plans 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Abdullah Al-Othaim Markets Co. has canceled plans to sell shares of its mall business to the public, the company said in a bourse filing.

The group halted initial public offering plans for Abdullah Al Othaim Investment Co. due to concerns over valuation and market volatility.

Arab News earlier reported that the group had selected GIB Capital to manage an IPO of a 30-percent stake in the Kingdom’s stock market. 

Known as Al Othaim Malls, the firm specializes in the construction, management and operation of shopping malls, entertainment centers, restaurants and cinemas.