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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

Kingdom Holding reports 68 per cent rise in quarterly profits

Prince Alwaleed's investment firm plans fresh Egypt hotel investment

Kingdom Holding Group chairman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. AFP
Kingdom Holding Group chairman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. AFP

Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding reported a 68 per cent rise in second quarter profits compared with the first three months of the year, amid plans for an $800 mn investment in three Egyptian hotels.

The investment firm, owned by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, reported a net profit of 216.3 million Saudi riyals for the second quarter of the year, compared with a loss of 80 million riyals in the same period last year, and a first quarter profit of 129m riyals, according to a statement posted on the Saudi stock exchange.

Kingdom said that the increase in profitability came from an “increase in income from and gain on investments in addition to increase in dividends income, increase in other gains and increase in share of results from equity-accounted investees,” which came in spite of a rise in financial charges and general administrative expenses.

The firm’s revenues rose to 540m riyals for the quarter, a 16 per cent increase on the same period last year.

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Kingdom holds minority stakes in several of the world’s largest firms, including Citigroup, Twitter, NewsCorp and the Four Seasons hotel group. In June it announced a $62 million investment in Dubai-based ride-sharing company Careem.

The firm did not provide a breakdown of the revenues or profitability for any of its investments.

Egypt’s government yesterday announced that Kingdom and Egyptian investment company Talaat Moustafa Group would invest $800m in three hotel projects in the country, one of the largest planned injections of foreign cash since Egypt embarked upon a major economic reform program.

The two firms plan to expand the Sharm el-Sheikh Four Seasons resort on the Red Sea and build new two hotels, at El Alamein on the north coast of Egypt and at Madinaty in Cairo, the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation said in a statement emailed to Bloomberg.

“This is a global investor and he compares between places to decide where to invest,” Investment Minister Sahar Nasr told reporters in Cairo. “He sees that the business environment is now attractive and he is committed to investing in Egypt.”

Egypt has said it hopes to exceed its $10 billion target for foreign direct investment this year, after taking a series of steps meant to restore investor confidence, including easing currency restrictions and cutting subsidies in a successful bid to win a $12 billion IMF loan.

The government sees investments by the world’s 48th-richest man, with a net worth of $18.7 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, as a positive signal about its economy that would draw in more cash.

* With Bloomberg

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