Market: A Saudi prince invested $500 mlns in Russia at the start of the war in Ukraine

by Nayera Abdallah and Hadeel Al Sayegh

(Reuters) – Saudi investment firm Kingdom Holding, controlled by Prince Al Walid bin Talal, quietly invested more than $500 million (490.15 million euros) in three major Russian energy companies between February and March , according to regulatory documents.

In February, Kingdom Holding, which is 16.9% owned by the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, invested in the international certificates of deposit of Gazprom and Roseneft for a value of 1 .37 billion riyals (357.85 million euros) and 196 million riyals, respectively.

The company also invested 410 million riyals in Lukoil’s US certificates of deposit between February and March, according to financial documents filed on Sunday.

Kingdom Holding had not disclosed details of the investments but the company was likely on the lookout for undervalued assets as many Western countries imposed sanctions on Russian companies.

Al Walid bin Talal’s investment style focuses on new opportunities that can be lucrative but involve risk, as well as finding undervalued assets, a source familiar with Kingdom Holding’s affairs said in June. .

Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states have so far claimed to be trying to maintain a neutral stance on the war in Ukraine, frustrating some Western officials in their attempt to isolate Russia economically after its invasion of Ukraine in february.

Saudi Arabia and Russia are the leaders of the OPEC+ group, an alliance formed in 2017 between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allied producers.

(French version Dina Kartit, edited by Kate Entringer)

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