Saudi billionaire poured $500M into Russian energy firms amid Ukraine invasion

A outstanding Saudi billionaire poured greater than $500 million into Russia’s prime state-linked energy firms this 12 months across the similar time because the Kremlin launched its brutal invasion of Ukraine, a inventory change submitting confirmed.

Kingdom Holding, the Saudi agency based by Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, purchased the equal of $365 million in depositary receipts for Russia’s Gazprom in a transaction that befell someday in February, according to the filings.

Alwaleed’s agency additionally dumped $52 million into Rosneft in February. In a commerce that befell between February and March, Kingdom additionally invested $109 million in Lukoil’s US-based depository receipts, which symbolize a overseas firm’s publicly traded inventory.

The filings didn’t reveal the explanation for the investments.

Nonetheless, the Saudi billionaire guess on Russian firms on the similar time that the Ukraine invasion prompted Western nations to enact sweeping financial sanctions towards the Kremlin and Western-based firms to depart Russia in droves.

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal based Kingdom Holding.
Bloomberg through Getty Photographs

The stakes have plummeted in worth because the sanctions triggered lasting harm to the Russian inventory market and financial system.

Saudi Arabia and Russia have deep ties within the world energy market. OPEC+, a collective consisting of members of the OPEC oil cartel and different allied nations together with Russia, has resisted calls to spice up oil manufacturing to satisfy robust demand over the past 12 months.

Kingdom’s funding within the Russian firms was first reported by Bloomberg

, which famous the Saudi agency didn’t reply to inquiries as as to if it nonetheless held the investments.

Kingdom Holding invested in Lukoil.
Getty Photographs

The inventory change submitting additionally revealed that Kingdom invested in Chinese language firms Tencent and Alibaba in 2021.

Alwaleed is among the world’s richest people, with an estimated private fortune of $16.9 billion, in response to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His agency holds stakes in a number of US-based corporations, together with Snap, Twitter, Uber and Lyft.

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, which is led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, holds a 16.9% stake in Kingdom Holding, in response to Bloomberg.

Rosneft refinery
Alwaleed’s agency invested $52 million into Rosneft in February
Getty Photographs
Kingdom Holding didn’t present a motive for its funding.
AFP through Getty Photographs

Oil large Saudi Aramco earned a whopping $88 billion over the primary half of this 12 months as world shortages and cargo disruptions resulted in surging costs per barrel. The agency mentioned its earnings jumped 90% within the second quarter year-over-year.

In the meantime, Russia has continued to yield massive profits from its oil and fuel business in the course of the Ukraine battle. Whereas the US and plenty of Western firms ended purchases of Russian oil, Europe stays closely reliant on Russian energy.

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