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Saudi prince's eyes on Qatar

Al Waleed discusses opportunities with doha to enhance regional presence

Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal
Image Credit: AFP
Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal
Gulf News

Riyadh: Saudi Arabian Kingdom Holding, owned and run by Saudi Arabia's billionaire Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal, said Saturday it has discussed future potential business collaboration with Qatar Holding, the prime vehicle for strategic and direct investments by the Gulf state.

Prince Al Waleed held a meeting in Riyadh with Ahmad Al Sayed, the chief executive of the investment arm of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), Doha's sovereign wealth fund, the Saudi firm said.

The meeting was also attended by senior management from Kingdom Holding and media and hospitality Holding Rotana Group.

On the agenda of discussions was Prince Al Waleed's "solid regional presence in various sectors, including real estate, hotels and media, locally, regionally and internationally," the Kingdom Holding statement said.

"The meeting touched upon local, regional and international economic and investment issues, and future projects," it added.

Prince Al Waleed, who owns 95 per cent of Kingdom Holding, has focused his investments on banks, hotels and media firms, building sizable stakes in companies like Citigroup, News Corp, Apple, and Time Warner.

In April 2010, Kingdom Holding announced a $847 million (Dh3,108 million) transaction with Qatari Diar, QIA's real estate arm, involving the Kingdom Holding stake in Fairmont Raffles Holdings International.

Under the agreements, private investment group Voyager as a strategic partner acquired for a combination of cash and other consideration a 40 per cent share holding in Fairmont Raffles.

In addition, Qatari Diar has undertaken to provide Fairmont Raffles with a number of future management contracts for hotels that will be branded either Fairmont, Raffles or Swissotel.

Al Waleed's Qatari investments in hotels through Kingdom Holding include the management of the Four Seasons Doha, Movenpick Doha and Movenpick Doha Tower and Suites.

According to UK media reports, QIA is looking to acquire a stake in the Savoy Hotel in London as well as to be one of the final bidders for the luxury hotel Grosvenor House, which was put on the market by the Royal Bank of Scotland for up to £600 million earlier this year.

With inputs from Zawya Dow Jonesand Reuters