Kingdom Holding invests $1.3bn in global equities in first half of 2022

Saudi company majority owned by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal invested $500m in three Russian energy companies

The Kingdom Tower dominating the Riyadh skyline. Kingdom Holding said it invested in three Russian energy companies in the first half of this year. Reuters
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Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding invested more than 4.73 billion Saudi riyals ($1.3bn) in the first half of this year in global equities including $500 million in Russian energy companies as it continues to expand its portfolio of equity investments.

The investment holding company that is majority owned by Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, invested in Russian companies Gazprom, Rosneft and Lukoil, according to a regulatory filing to Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul stock exchange, where its shares are traded.

Kingdom Holding acquired depositary receipts issued by Gazprom and Rosneft worth about 1.37bn riyals and 196m riyals in February. It invested about 410m riyals in Lukoil’s depositary receipts in February and March, according to the bourse filing.

Most western companies and financial institutions have left the Russian market in response to its military offensive in Ukraine on February 24. The value of depositary receipts of Russian oil and gas companies have declined sharply following severe restrictions on energy exports from Russia.

Kingdom Holding did not say if it still holds investments in the three Russian energy companies.

The company’s other major equity investments this year include more than 827m riyals in Phoenix Group and 831m riyals in M & and 187.5m riyals in Liberty Strategic Capital.

Kingdom Holding has invested more than 12.81bn riyals in global equities and depositary receipts since 2020. The largest investment, valued at 2.5bn riyals, was in Spain’s Telefonica in 2020.

Over the past three years, the company has invested across sectors, taking or boosting stakes in companies including Lyft, BlackRock Capital, French energy major TotalEnergies, Uber and Chinese companies Alibaba, Baidu Tencent, Didi and, according to the bourse filing.

Kingdom Holding’s business interests span sectors from aviation to education, banking and finance, industry, health care, real estate, petrochemicals and private equity. The company, which reported total investments of more than 36bn riyals and assets of 50.82bn riyals at the end of last year, is known for its high profile investments.

It also holds stakes in social media giant Twitter, UAE-based ride-hailing company Careem, hospitality majors Accor, Four Seasons and Savoy, and global banking giant Citigroup among others.

The company has delivered 25 per cent return on its real estate investments and 31 per cent return on its technology investments in the past five years, according to its website.

Earlier this year, Kingdom Holding completed an 8.29bn riyal deal to sell half of its stake in Four Seasons. The company retained a 23.75 per cent stake in the hotels and resorts operator after the deal.

In May, Kingdom Holding sold a 16.87 per cent stake to the Public Investment Fund, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, in a deal valued at $1.5bn.

The company sold 625 million shares to PIF at a price of 9.09 riyals each. Following the deal, Prince Alwaleed controls a 78.13 per cent stake in Kingdom Holding, the company said at the time.

Updated: August 15, 2022, 10:10 AM