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Saudi billionaire moguls freed from Saudi detention

January 29, 2018

By Chris Forrester

Prince Alwaled bin Talal, one of Saudi Arabia’s richest individuals and owner of the Rotana media group as well as stakes in Apple and Twitter, has been released from detention. Also freed over the weekend is Waleed al-Ibrahim, the chairman of the popular Dubai-based broadcasting group MBC.

News that Prince Alwaleed had been freed emerged on January 27th.

As for Waleed al-Ibrahim, an email sent to MBC employees by MBC’s chief executive Sam Barnett and quoted by Reuters said Ibrahim had been released from detention and was with members of his family in Riyadh.

The FT reports that Saudi authorities are demanding that al-Ibrahim hand over his controlling stake in MBC as the price for his freedom. MBC is privately held but it has been widely reported in the past that some 50 per cent of the group’s profit goes to senior Saudi royals (source: WikiLeaks).

As for Prince Alwaleed trading in his Kingdom Holdings business soar 10 per cent on January 28th (the maximum rise allowed under exchange rules) and a further 5.38 per cent on January 29th. The fund has recovered all of its lost value suffered when Alwaleed was initially detained.

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