Billionaire Alwaleed Arrested in Saudi Corruption Crackdown

Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the billionaire with significant stakes in Citigroup Inc. and Twitter Inc., was arrested by Saudi Arabian authorities as part of an anti-corruption purge in the kingdom.
Alwaleed was among 11 princes and 38 current or former senior officials that were arrested on orders from a newly established anti-corruption committee headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to a senior Saudi official who spoke on condition of anonymity. Alwaleed, 62, was picked up from his desert camp, the official said. Authorities didn’t disclose the allegations that prompted the arrests.
Ranked the world’s 50th richest person with a net worth of about $19 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Alwaleed is the founder of Kingdom Holding Co., a Riyadh-based investment company that has holdings in real estate, hotels and stocks such as Apple Inc. around the world. Kingdom Holding shares fell as much as 9.9 percent and closed down 7.6 percent, the lowest since June 2012.
In one of his most visible local investments, Alwaleed in September bought a 16.2 percent stake in Banque Saudi Fransi from Credit Agricole SA in a deal valued at $1.54 billion. Kingdom Holding, which is now the bank’s single largest shareholder, bought the stake at a discount after the French lender struggled to find an international buyer. Saudi Fransi shares fell as much as 2.8 percent before closing 1 percent higher. The benchmark Tadawul All Share Index erased losses to close up 0.3 percent.

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