Saudi Tadawul, Kingdom Holding Shares Soar After Prince Alwaleed Freed

Violet Powell
January 31, 2018

News broke earlier on Tuesday that Saudi authorities had released all remaining detainees from Riyadh's Ritz-Carlton Hotel, which had been used as an interrogation center in a crackdown on corruption, according to a Saudi official. Prince Alwaleed was among at least 11 princes detained in the probe, in addition to dozens of businessmen, officials and military officers. The hotel was closed to normal business.

Among the high-profile businessmen held in the purge were Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, owner of global investor Kingdom Holding.

This is all part of the vision for the future laid out by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman - a vision built on diversification of the oil economy. The government has also not officially released the names of individuals detained nor disclosed the specific allegations against them, leading to concerns of transparency and accountability.

Other factors may also be responsible for the rise in reserves, such as changes in the pattern of transfers of money to Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, and weakness of the USA dollar, which boosts the non-dollar portion of the assets.

Although officials said both Prince Alwaleed and Ibrahim reached financial settlements after admitting unspecified "violations", Prince Alwaleed continued to insist publicly he was innocent, while MBC said Ibrahim had been fully exonerated.

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Critics also said Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was using the popular anti-corruption drive to consolidate his grip on the country. Already, government officials have hinted at using the recovered assets to bankroll a package meant to help Saudis cope with rising inflation. The company said he would continue to control the company.

Mojeb said the total settlements with the suspects had topped $107 billion, which came in various forms of assets.

Some cases are expected to go to trial, authorities have said previously.

The source claimed that if Alwaleed chose to travel overseas he will be accompanied by someone chosen by the Saudi government and that if he leaves the country and does not return to Saudi Arabia, the government will press charges and extradite him.

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