Alwaleed Bin Talal invests US$1 billion in 6 months

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal has invested US$1 billion, over a time span of six months, acquiring stocks in Citigroup, AOL Time Warner, and priceline.com.

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By  Massoud Derhally Published  March 13, 2002

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal has invested US$1 billion, over a time span of six months, acquiring stocks in Citigroup, AOL Time Warner, and priceline.com.

The Prince increased his stake in Citigroup by $500 million, making his shareholding in the bank to US$10 billion. In a statement released by his company, Kingdom Holding, the Prince said the price of Citigroup was too attractive at $43.

“A solid bank such as Citigroup with capable management, consistent results and un matched franchise does not deserve a price to earning ratio less than AIG’s or GE’s. Sooner or later, the market will have to appreciate and understand that,” said the Prince.

Alwaleed also increased his holdings in AOL Time Warner by $ 450 million. “The price was very cheap at around $23,” commented the prince on the purchase of the latest batch of AOL stocks.

“I believe in the power of the AOL brand and I am already a shareholder in this global media giant. Therefore, when the price reached lucrative levels, we decided to increase our stake. The weakness in AOL’s stock price is temporary as it reflects the temporary weakness in several areas in which it is involved” said Alwaleed.

The prince also increased his stake in priceline.com to $100 million, citing it as one of three companies that has survived the turbulence of the technology sector. The aim was to lower his average share price and the latest plunge in price allowed Prince Alwaleed to bring that average down to a single digit. Prince Alwaleed now has a 5.4% stake in priceline.com. In addition to priceline.com, Alwaleed has stakes in the auction site, Ebay.com and online bookseller, Amazon.com.

At the close of business on 12 March, Amazon closed at $16.31, AOL Time Warner 26.35, Ebay 58.68, and Citigroup at 49.33.

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