Saudi billionaire Prince Al Waleed bin Talal 'invested $500 million in Russian firms' days before Ukraine invasion
Saudi billionaire Prince Al Waleed bin Talal poured more than $500 million into Russian firms around the time Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine, according to reports.
Kingdom Holding Co, Al Waleed bin Talal’s investment firm, invested in Gazprom, Lukoil and Rosnet in February this year, according to Bloomberg.
“Kingdom Holding, one of Saudi Arabia’s highest-profile investors, poured hundreds of millions of dollars into Russian energy firms shortly before and after the invasion of #Ukraine this year, the group disclosed in a filing on Sunday.”https://t.co/CQQatGIhV9 via @financialtimes— John Reed (@JohnReedwrites) August 15, 2022
The prince’s company acquired a $365 million stake in Gazprom in February, and invested $52 million in Rosneft and $109 million in Lukoil between February and March.
Around the same time, or soon after, he sold around 625 million shares of Kingdom Holding Company worth around $1.5 billion to the kingdom's sovereign wealth fund.
Russia launched its brutal invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022.
The value of his investments has dropped rapidly since the war began, as the western world imposed sanctions on Russia to put pressure on the Kremlin to call off its invasion.
Prince Al Waleed bin Talal is one of Saudi Arabia’s richest men and regularly makes large foreign investments.,
He has stakes in high-profile companies such as Twitter and Uber, while his grandfather, Abdulaziz was the founder of the modern Saudi state.
The prince was one of hundreds of members of the Saudi royal family placed under arrest at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Riyadh in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman [MbS]. He was released after agreeing to pay millions to authorities as part of an 'anti-corruption drive'.
The kingdom has been criticised for not speaking out more firmly against Russia’s invasion.
Late last month, MbS spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss global oil supplies that have been hit by the war in Ukraine, sparking a global energy crisis.