Kingdom Holding Tumbles After Arrest of Billionaire Chairman
(Bloomberg) -- Shares of Kingdom Holding Co. plunged after billionaire Chairman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was arrested as part of an anti-corruption purge in Saudi Arabia.
The stock fell as much as 9.9 percent at the open in Riyadh and closed 7.6 percent lower, the lowest since June 2012. The benchmark Tadawul All Share Index erased losses to close 0.3 percent higher.
Acting on orders from a newly established anti-corruption committee, headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, police arrested 11 princes, four ministers and dozens of former ministers, the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television reported. Alwaleed was among those detained, according to a senior Saudi official who spoke on condition of anonymity. The prince, who is valued at $19 billion in Bloomberg Billionaires Index, is a nephew of King Salman.
Alwaleed is one of the world’s richest men and has an extensive portfolio that includes a stake in Citigroup Inc., which the prince has held since 1991. Kingdom Holding, in which he owns 95 percent, is also an investor in Twitter Inc., JD.com Inc., the Four Seasons hotel chain and Accor Hotels.
Separately, the investment firm posted a third-quarter profit of 247.5 million riyals ($66 million) after a loss of 355 million riyals a year ago. Revenue rose 76 percent to 550 million riyals.
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