The Saudi government is expected to take a 35 per cent stake in construction giant Saudi Binladin Group (SBG) as part of a financial settlement with state authorities, sources told Reuters on Thursday.

The figure — previously unknown — was confirmed by four sources familiar with the matter. It represents the total stakes of chairman Bakr Binladin and his brothers Saleh and Saad, all of whom were detained in an anti-graft crackdown in November alongside scores of other businessmen, princes and officials, according to some of the sources. A formal transfer of control has not yet taken place, causing prolonged uncertainty about the fate of the company two months after it announced that some shareholders might transfer part of their holdings to the state against outstanding dues.