Saudi Prince #Alwaleed Refocusing Investments Toward Middle East

February 17, 2013

The article linked below from Bloomberg is about Alwaleed’s decision to sell off his jumbo jet, but the bigger story embedded here is his decision to refocus his fortune back home in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, which almost certainly means Shariah-compliance…

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Al Saud, the world’s 15th-richest person, sold his Airbus A380 jet plane in the past four months…The 57-year-old, who bought the plane in 2007, used the proceeds from the sale to expand his investments in Saudi Arabia and the greater Middle East…
The chairman of Riyadh-based Kingdom Holding has a net worth of $29 billion…Alwaleed’s fortune has surged $8.5 billion since April 2012 as Kingdom shares have almost doubled in value.
Alwaleed has built much of his fortune investing in companies such as Apple Inc. and News Corp. In the past several years, the billionaire said he has been reallocating his portfolio in favor of the Middle East. He has more than $1.3 billion invested in public and private equities in the region…

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-14/alwaleed-sells-airbus-a380-to-invest-in-middle-east-firms.html

they know America will compete in the energy sector. This is not because America is a bad investment… this is because INVESTING in AMERICA now hurts his base.


Cooperation on cybercrime, maritime security and infrastructure protection, and cooperation on cyber security

January 20, 2013

(Saudi interior minister Prince Mohammed bin Naif. This first cousin of Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was last noted in this blog for ordering the arrest last month of a Saudi novelist, Turki al Hamad, for tweeting that Islam required a “correction.” Al Hamad now faces the death penalty for apostasy.)
From Al Arabiya: Saudi Arabia and the United States have signed a “Trusted Traveler” agreement to facilitate and accelerate the trusted passenger screening on the principle of reciprocity in both Saudi and U.S. airports. The Saudi state agency reported that Minister of Interior Prince Mohammed bin Naif and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano “signed an agreement on arrangements relating to the implementation of a program of the ‘Trusted Traveler’ between the two countries.” Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Naif and Secretary Napolitano also released a joint statement affirming ongoing cooperation on cybercrime, maritime security and infrastructure protection, and cooperation on cyber security, which is critical to both nations’ economic competitiveness and national security. (Does “cybercrime include “tweeting”?)

Is Saudi Prince Steering News Corp. Coverage?

January 12, 2013

Diana West


Ever since Al Gore sold Current TV to Al Jazeera, the network founded and funded by the oil-rich emirate of Qatar, the former vice president has drawn continuous fire in conservative media. Fox News, the New York Post and The Wall Street Journal, for example, have all castigated Gore, a man of the Left and leading avatar of “global warming,” for such hypocrisies as timing the deal to avoid Lefty tax hikes and bagging $100 million in greenhouse-gas money.
These same news outlets share something else in common: They all belong to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. That means they also belong to Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

Alwaleed owns the largest chunk of News Corp. stock outside the Murdoch family. Shortly after his purchase of 5.5 percent of News Corp. voting shares in 2005, Alwaleed gave a speech that made it clear just what he had bought. As noted in The (U.K.) Guardian, Alwaleed told an audience in Dubai that it took just one phone call to Rupert Murdoch — “speaking not as a shareholder but as a viewer,” Alwaleed said — to get the Fox News crawl reporting “Muslim riots” in France changed to “civil riots.”
This didn’t make the “Muslim” riots go away, but Alwaleed managed to fog our perception of them. With a phone call, the Saudi prince eliminated the peculiarly Islamic character of the unprecedented French street violence for both the viewers at home and, more significantly, for the journalists behind the scenes. When little owner doesn’t want “Muslim” rioting identified and big owner agrees, it sets a marker for employees. Alwaleed’s stake, by the way, is now 7 percent.
We can only speculate on what other acts of influence this nephew of the Saudi dictator might have since imposed on Fox News and other News Corp. properties. (I have long argued that News Corp. should register as a foreign agent, due to the stock owned by a senior member of the Saudi ruling dynasty.) Alwaleed hasn’t shared any other editorial exploits with the public. But that opening act of eliminating key information from News Corp.’s coverage of Islamic news might well have set a pattern of omission.
Recently, such a pattern of omission in News Corp.’s coverage of the Gore-Al Jazeera deal seems evident. I say “seems,” because I can’t be entirely certain that I haven’t missed something in my research. But judging from online searches of news stories and audio transcripts, two salient points are missing from at least the main body of News Corp.’s coverage.
One is reference to the noticeable alignment of Al Jazeera with the Muslim Brotherhood, the global Islamic movement whose motto is, “The Koran is our law; jihad is our way; dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.” The second (with an exception noted below) is reference to Al Jazeera’s superstar host and ideological lodestar, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a leading Muslim Brotherhood figure. The influence of al-Qaradawi at the network and in Qatar — where, according to Freedom House’s 2012 press report, it is against the law for journalists to criticize the Qatari government, the ruling family or Islam — can hardly be overestimated.
Strange omission? This relationship between the Qatari-controlled network and the Muslim Brotherhood organization has been observed for years. Back in 2007, for example, Steven Stalinsky reported in The New York Sun that various Arab commentators referred to Al Jazeera as “the Muslim Brotherhood channel” and the like. What’s more, reference to the relationship appears at least in passing in coverage of the Gore deal at mainstream media sites such as USA Today and the Seattle Times. More discussion is available at some conservative outlets, including Rush Limbaugh and The Blaze. (Searches at Breitbart and the Washington Examiner, like News Corp. sites, yielded nothing on these same points. Call it, perhaps, “the Fox effect.”)
Given the rise of Muslim Brotherhood parties in the revolutions of the so-called Arab Spring — undeviatingly cheered on by Al Jazeera — the network’s Muslim Brotherhood connection, which extends to Al Jazeera’s sponsors inside the Qatari ruling family, is a crucial point to miss. Especially when it seems to be missed across the board.
The same goes for failing to mention Al Jazeera’s leading personality, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, in the Gore deal coverage. This longtime “spiritual guide” of the Muslim Brotherhood hosts one of Al Jazeera’s most popular shows, “Sharia and Life.” Among other poisonous pronouncements, al-Qaradawi has called for Americans in Iraq and Israelis everywhere to be targeted by terrorists (“martyrs”) who would then find a place in Islamic paradise. Given Al Gore’s refusal to sell his network to Glenn Beck’s The Blaze TV due to political differences, Muslim Brother Al-Qaradawi and his Shariah ideology become highly relevant. Then again, maybe one man’s news story is just another man’s clipping on the cutting-room floor.
Meanwhile, the one story I found in News Corp. coverage of the Gore deal that mentions al-Qaradawi — a column by Gordon Crovitz — neglected to note al-Qaradawi’s place in the Muslim Brotherhood. Particularly given current events, this is a little like forgetting to mention that Hermann Goring was in the Nazi Party.
Could normal editorial discretion or plain ignorance be at work here? I suppose so. Still, there is that tie-in between News Corp. and the House of Saud to consider, a partnership I find more troubling than Gore’s deal with the Qatari emirate. Not only does Alwaleed own a stake in News Corp., Murdoch owns an even more substantial stake (18.97 percent) in Alwaleed’s Arabic media company Rotana.
Within the Alwaleed-Murdoch-Rotana galaxy is a 24-hour-Islamic outlet called Al Risala, which Alwaleed founded in 2006. The channel’s director and popular “tele-Islamist” is Tareq Al-Suwaidan, widely reported to be a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Kuwait. The station’s “Supreme Advisory Committee” includes Abdullah Omar Naseef, who, according to former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy, is “a major Muslim Brotherhood figure” involved in the financing of al-Qaida.
Al Risala, then, would seem to fit right into the Al Jazeera-Qaradawi-Muslim-Brotherhood lineup.
We know Alwaleed has influenced Fox editorial matters before. Could that Alwaleed influence — even his very presence – account for why News Corp. hasn’t hit harder on the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaradawi angles of the Gore-Jazeera deal?
I don’t know, but I wonder. Don’t you?

Diana West

Diana West is a contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of the new book, The Death of the Grown-up: How America’s Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization.


#JIDF can expect to see filters on #hashtags (Saudi’s Prince #Alwaleed buys $300 million #Twitter stake)

December 22, 2011

(REPLAY) When Chevron took part in World AIDS day I noticed that someone was filtering hashtags. you can expect to see more of this on twitter. Don’t say I didn’t warn everyone when everyone was thumbing their nose at facebook exclusively.

(finance.yahoo.com) DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, an investor in some of the world’s top companies, has bought a stake in Twitter for $300 million, gaining another foothold in the global media industry.

Alwaleed, a nephew of Saudi Arabia’s king and estimated by Forbes magazine to be the 26th richest person in the world with a $19.6 billion fortune, already owns a 7 percent stake in News Corp and plans to start a cable news channel.
The purchase is remarkable because Twitter was a key means of communication for protesters in the Arab Spring revolts this year, violence that threatened Saudi Arabia until the kingdom unveiled a populist $130 billion social spending package.
Twitter, which allows people to send 140-character messages, or Tweets, to groups of followers, is one of the internet’s most popular social networking services, along with Facebook and Zynga.
The Twitter stake, bought jointly by Alwaleed and his Kingdom Holding Co investment firm, resulted from “months of negotiations,” Kingdom said.
Bernhard Warner, co-founder of analysis and advisory firm Social Media Influence, said: “The Arab world, of course, knows full well the value of Twitter. In the past year, it has been a force in politics, in regime change, so there is not a single person in that region in a position of influence who is not following the increasing power of Twitter.
“(Alwaleed) must see Twitter as something that is going to be a really powerful broadcast channel,” he said, adding the Saudi had got into the internet boom belatedly, with mixed results, and appeared to be “kind of late” to the game again.
Investors in Saudi Arabia were more bullish, sending shares in Kingdom up 7 percent to 8.40 riyals.
“One of the few sectors to record significant revenue gains in the last three years has been technology, which is why Kingdom would see Twitter as a good addition to its diversified portfolio,” said Hesham Tuffaha, head of asset management at Bakheet Investment Group in Riyadh.
Saudis are increasingly turning to satellite television, online news providers and social networking to stay abreast of world events. The world’s No. 1 oil exporter announced a series of stricter regulations for journalists earlier this year.
Alwaleed, who has a sizeable stake in Citigroup, has spoken in favour of broader political participation, fair elections and effective job creation across the Arab world.
IPO HOPES
Investors are eagerly anticipating an initial public offering from Twitter, which said in September it was in no hurry to go public. It raised $400 million in venture capital financing this summer.
It now counts more than 100 million active users who log onto the service at least once a month. Facebook, the world’s largest social network has more than 750 million active users.
Internet search giant Google recently launched a social networking service dubbed Google+ which some observers say could lure users away from Twitter.
Shares in online games developer Zynga ended at a 5 percent discount to their issue price on their trading debut on Friday, and analysts said any valuation for Twitter could be misleading.
“You could put any number of zeroes behind a valuation of a private company. Before it goes public, it is almost meaningless,” said Warner.
“This is a very small group of investors which has put money into this thing. That will be diluted and diluted and diluted again until it goes public. And that is when we will see what the value is. These are kind of magic numbers at the moment.”
Kingdom owns a near-30 percent stake in Saudi Research and Marketing Group, which runs a range of media titles.
“Our investment in Twitter reaffirms our ability in identifying suitable opportunities to invest in promising, high-growth businesses with a global impact,” Alwaleed said.
Alwaleed subscribed $500 million to last year’s General Motors IPO. In August, he unveiled plans to build the world’s tallest tower in Jeddah.
(Reporting by Sitaraman Shankar; Additional reporting by Georgina Prodhan in London and Matt Smith in Dubai; Editing by Erica Billingham and Dan Lalor)


Saudi Prince raises offer to kidnap IDF soldier [UPDATED]

November 2, 2011

(Israel Matzav) reported on a Saudi cleric who offered a $100,000 reward for kidnapping an IDF soldier. Now, a Saudi prince, Khaled Ibn Talal, has added $900,000 to the offer making it $1,000,000.

“Al-Qarni offered $100,000 to whoever abducts (an Israeli soldier) and I say to him – I sympathize with you and am offering $900,000 to put the figure at $1 million,” he said.
Prince Khaled is the third son of Prince Talal bin Abdul Aziz, the Saudi King’s brother.

The prince made the offer in an interview with Saudi television on Saturday. Prince Khaled bin Talal AKA Khaled Ibn Talal, AKA Prince Talal bin Abdul Aziz, (Islamic Terrorist Financier) is the brother of business tycoon and Fox News and now Bloomberg co investor and co-owner Walid bin Talal AKA Prince Ahwaleed binTalal.


Saudi Prince Alwaleed, Bloomberg To Launch Arabic News Channel

November 1, 2011
To view the comprehensive profile of the Chairman HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, (PDF format) Click Here (kingdom.com.sa) (foxbusiness.com) DUBAI (Zawya Dow Jones)–Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who heads Kingdom Holding Co. (4280.SA), said Tuesday he has inked an agreement with news service Bloomberg LP to launch a new Arabic language satellite news channel. Bloomberg will support the creation of five hours of financial and economic news programming throughout the day on the channel, called Alarab, the prince said in an emailed statement. The channel, whose headquarters haven’t been announced yet, is expected to start operating next year. Alwaleed said Alarab will “focus editorially on the important shifts taking place across the Arab world, with an emphasis on freedom of speech and freedom of press.” Prince Alwaleed, who owns 95% of Kingdom Holding, has focused his investments on banks, hotels and media companies, building sizable stakes in firms such as Citigroup Inc. (C), News Corp. (NWS), Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Time Warner Inc. (TWX). Over the past couple of years, the prince, who has been the Middle East’s wealthiest businessman over the past 20 years, has again started seeking investors and acquisitions around the world after keeping a low profile in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

News Corp. owns a 14% stake in Prince Alwaleed’s media company, Rotana.
News Corp. also owns Dow Jones & Co., publisher of this newswire and The Wall Street Journal.
Talal has his chips all around the news dial…. all around the world. It pisses me off when leftists accuse me of being influenced by right wing media… I mean really… as if I were that stupid…. they really think I don’t know.

Bin Laden Family Poised to Build World’s Tallest Building in Saudi Arabia – FoxNews.com

August 4, 2011
An Arab glove slap! (in your face free world!)
Kingdom Holding Co., the investment firm headed by billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, said it signed a $1 billion deal with the Saudi bin Laden Group to build Kingdom Tower on the outskirts of the Red Sea city of Jeddah. The Saudi construction giant is owned by the family of Usama bin Laden, which disavowed the late Al Qaeda terror boss years ago.

I think I’m going to puke!