RIYADH, (Reuters) – Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is the largest private investor on the Saudi stock exchange, with 53.47 billion riyals ($14.3 billion) worth of direct and indirect shareholdings, exchange data showed.
Alwaleed — the world’s 19th richest person with a $21 billion fortune according to Forbes — runs Kingdom Holding Co, Citigroup Inc’s largest shareholder.
The largest Arab bourse began naming investors holding stakes of 5 percent or more on Saturday to boost transparency and encourage confidence in the Gulf region’s worst-performing benchmark this year.
About 90 percent of Alwaleed’s holdings in Saudi shares are in Kingdom, in which he owns 94 percent of the conglomerate’s 6.3 billion shares, the stock exchange said on its website.
Kingdom, meanwhile, holds 5 percent of Samba Financial Group, Saudi Arabia’s second-largest listed bank, and 10.1 percent of Savola Group, the data showed.
The conglomerate also owns 6.2 percent in Saudi industrial group Tasnee and is the largest shareholder in Saudi Research and Marketing Group, publisher of pan-Arab daily newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, with a 29.9 percent stake.
Saudi market operator Tadawul said last month it was implementing the new disclosure rule to improve transparency. The Saudi market is dominated by day traders and restricts foreign access to shares.
The new disclosure rule could help the regulator dispel rumours that big retail traders are behind rapid fluctuations in share prices, a common assumption in the market, analysts have said.
Alwaleed’s holdings in Saudi stocks surpass those held by members of the Al-Rajhi family, who control Al-Rajhi Bank, the biggest Gulf Arab market value, and the Olayan family who have indirect stakes in Saudi Hollandi Bank and SABB bank.
The state dominates shareholding in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Public Investment Fund is the biggest investor, holding 380 billion riyals of shares in 18 firms, the data showed.
Shares of Kingdom surged more than 6 percent at 0841 GMT. The stock is down 36 percent this year, underperforming the Saudi benchmark, which has fallen 24.5 percent.