Kingdom Holding boosts Citigroup stake to 2.2% in $450m deal

Investment holding company buys additional shares in Wall Street bank from its billionaire chairman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal

Kingdom Holding has increased its stake in Citigroup. Reuters
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Kingdom Holding, the investment holding company controlled by Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, has boosted its stake in Citigroup after buying shares worth 1.69 billion Saudi riyals ($450 million) from the billionaire prince.

The investment company, which previously owned 1.63 per cent of Citigroup, now controls 2.2 per cent of the global financial institution, it said in a regulatory filing to the Tadawul stock exchange, where its shares are traded.

The latest transaction “supports the company's strategic plans”, Kingdom Holding said, but provided no further details in the brief market filing on Wednesday.

The company, majority-owned by Prince Alwaleed, has business interests in sectors including aviation, banking and financial services, e-commerce, education, hotel management, health care, real estate, transport, social media and private equity.

It has stakes in companies including Flynas, Nasjet, Bank Saudi Fransi, Deezer, JD.com, hotel groups Four Seasons and Accor and ride-sharing companies Uber, Careem and Lyft.

The company, in conjunction with Prince Alwaleed, also holds a substantial investment position in social networking company X, formerly Twitter.

After an initial purchase of shares in 2011, both Kingdom Holding and its chairman increased their ownership in October 2015, jointly accounting for a major shareholding of X, according to the company’s website.

In May this year, Kingdom Holding invested an additional $73.1 million into the UK's Phoenix Group, raising its stake in the long-term savings and retirement business to 5 per cent.

Earlier this year, it invested 228.2 million riyals in European insurance and asset management company M&G, raising its ownership in the business to 6.4 per cent from 5.3 per cent.

In May last year, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, bought a 16.87 per cent stake in Kingdom Holding for $1.5 billion.

Updated: November 29, 2023, 8:43 AM