Prince Alwaleed bin Talal's Kingdom Holding posted a near 22 per cent rise in second-quarter profit as local investment income offset drops in earnings from abroad. Kingdom made a net profit of 534.7 million riyals ($142.6 million) in the three months to June 30, up from 439.3 million riyals in the year-earlier period, it said in a statement posted on the Saudi stock exchange website. Kingdom Holding, an investment company that has minority stakes in some of the world's top companies, is the largest shareholder in Citigroup Inc with a 3.6 per cent stake. While the annual growth in net profit more than quadrupled in the second quarter from the previous quarter, Kingdom's operating profit slid 20.4 per cent to 826.6 million riyals, it said. "This drop ... is mainly due to a decline in (dividend) distributions from foreign investments despite a noticeable improvement in distributions from investment in the local market and gains from both the sale of some hotel investments and from the sale of some of the company's portfolio investments," it added. Kingdom released its earnings to the Saudi bourse late on Monday, though it made no mention of Citigroup, its biggest holding that accounts for about 40 per cent of its total assets. Citigroup posted a smaller-than-expected $2.5 billion loss in the second quarter despite $11.7 billion of write-downs and credit losses tied to deteriorating capital markets and a slumping economy. Kingdom plans to spend billions of riyals on giant real estate projects in Riyadh and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia's two largest cities. Kingdom Holding raised 3.23 billion riyals when Prince Alwaleed sold a 5 per cent stake in Kingdom in a July initial public offering open to Saudi nationals only. The IPO was 164 percent oversubscribed. Shares in the company have lost 30 per cent of their value this year compared to a 17.6 percent drop in the Saudi exchange's benchmark index. *Reuters
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