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Thu 17 Nov 2016 09:26 AM

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'Everything's on the table': Prince Alwaleed says long-term stakes are potentially for sale

Kingdom Holding chairman could divest holdings in some of West’s biggest corporates

'Everything's on the table': Prince Alwaleed says long-term stakes are potentially for sale

Kingdom Holding chairman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has said that all of his stakes in public companies could be potentially for sale, reversing a strategy that has seen the billionaire Saudi investor retain stakes for the long term.

Prince Alwaleed is the largest single investor in American stocks, with substantial holdings in Citigroup, Twitter, Apple, Time Warner and News Corp, among others.

“Everything’s on the table,” Alwaleed said in an interview with Bloomberg TV in Riyadh. “If our interest requires Kingdom Holding to divest from any company, sure we’ll do it. There’s nothing called forever.”

The prince also said it was “too early” to comment on how the election of Donald Trump would affect his investments in the US. After a Twitter spat with the president-elect earlier this year, Prince Alwaleed sent a congratulatory tweet to Trump after his victory last week.

In a separate interview with Fox News, the prince said: “I was critical of what he said about Islam. I never interfere in U.S. politics, I never talked about his policy on immigration, about fiscal plans, about building the wall, etc.

“I only was critical of him when he attacked Islam. But as you know, Mr. Trump has [removed] from his website all those comments that were offending to our religion Islam. Accordingly, all the reasons that caused the skirmishes between me and Mr. Trump have disappeared."

Prince Alwaleed also said that Saudi Arabia might need to depeg the riyal from the US dollar in the future, despite assertions from central bank officials in recent days that the longstanding peg would remain in place.

“As a last resort maybe sometime two, three years down the line it’s a possibility,” he told Bloomberg. “Meanwhile it should stay where it is right now. There are so many things happening.”


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