January 29, 2009

U.S. Banks are NOT Too Large to FAIL... U.S. Banks Are Being Protected to Save Our Arab Investors ASSets! At the U.S. Taxpayers EXPENSE!

Reuters News
Saudi's Kingdom Holding posts $8.3 bln Q4 loss
By Souhail Karam
Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:14pm EST

  • Assets down 44.4 pct to $13.3 bln
  • Most losses realised on shares sold in 2008
  • Declines to say if Citigroup stake sold

RIYADH, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Kingdom Holding Co, owned by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, posted a $8.26 billion net loss in the fourth quarter after a dive in the value of its assets, which include a substantial stake in Citigroup.

"The loss is shocking. We are talking about 50 percent of its capital," said Ibrahim al-Alwan, deputy chief executive at KSB Capital Group in Riyadh. Kingdom's paid up capital stands at $16.8 billion.

Prince Alwaleed hosted a news conference at his company's headquarters on Tuesday after the earnings were announced, but only a few representatives of Saudi media were invited.

Board member Halawani told Dubai-based Al Arabiya television that the losses had been made after the company decided last year to sell some of its assets.

He declined to say if the Citigroup (C.N) stake was part of the stakes it had shed, but said Kingdom's assets had fallen 44.4 percent to $13.3 billion.

"I don't want to give more details on where these investments were," he said when asked if Citigroup shares were part of assets sold.

Prince Alwaleed was the world's 19th richest person with a $21 billion fortune according to Forbes' latest survey.

About 90 percent of Alwaleed's holdings in Saudi shares are in Kingdom, in which he owns a 94 percent stake.


ABC News reported
Should Middle East Funds Own U.S. Banks?
Experts Debate the Pros, Cons of Middle Eastern Investment in U.S. Financial Firms
July 18, 2008

As Citi reported its results, a Saudi prince was likely playing close attention. The nation's biggest banking firm counts as one of its top stakeholders Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

As of last year, the prince owned more than $3 billion in Citigroup shares through his company, Kingdom Holding Company. In January, he was one of eight investors to buy a total of $12.5 billion in Citigroup securities.

The prince's interest in U.S. bank investments is nothing new — he began investing in Citi in 1991 — but this year, as banks scrambled for capital, several Middle Eastern funds have followed bin Talal's lead with sizeable investments of their own in American financial firms … and that makes some Americans uneasy.

In November, United Arab Emirates' Abu Dhabi Investment Authority invested $7.5 billion in Citigroup.

In January, Kuwait's fund, the Kuwait Investment Authority, and the Singapore Investment Corporation were among the investors in the $12.5 billion Citi deal.

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