Thursday, 24 January, 2019

Saudi Arabia Releases All Riyadh's Ritz-Carlton Detainees

Saudi Arabia Releases All Riyadh's Ritz-Carlton Detainees Saudi Arabia Releases All Riyadh's Ritz-Carlton Detainees
Melinda Barton | 30 January, 2018, 19:43

"The estimated value of settlements now stands at more than 400 billion riyals ($106 billion) represented in various types of assets, including real estate, commercial entities, securities, cash and other assets", Sheikh Saud Al Mojeb said in a statement.

The statement did not disclose further details on the types of businesses or real estate that was acquired.

The Saudi index gained 0.4 per cent as Kingdom added 2.4pc to 10.28 riyals - the level where it was trading before Prince Alwaleed was detained in a corruption probe that saw scores of businessmen detained last November.

It has also sorely tested alliances between the ruling al-Saud family and other powerful clans, which have governed the modern kingdom for decades.

But as the kingdom's wealth shrank under the strain of structurally lower oil prices and a costly war in Yemen, the country's powerful heir sought ways to regenerate a moribund economy and shake up a society that had become accustomed to unchecked privilege, with next to no scrutiny. The hotel has been cleared of all detainees, a senior government official said on Tuesday. However, a much smaller number of senior figures will be allowed to continue to shield their affairs from public accountability.

Forbes said the prince's spokesman has declined to comment on the reports, while a Saudi embassy spokesman in the United States said the embassy has no information on specific individuals because of Saudi privacy laws. Others say the release of Prince Alwaleed and other billionaires marks the end of the controversial episode. It is considering investments in companies including Saudi Arabian eye-care specialists Magrabi Hospitals & Centers, he said.

Alwaleed, the founder of Kingdom Holding, told Reuters hours before his release that there were "no charges" against him. About 50 percent of the new budget will be financed from non-oil sources, the crown prince said.

Both men insisted they were innocent, but Saudi official sources said they had agreed to financial settlements after admitting unspecified "violations".