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Banking

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal reveals shortlisted banks for Kingdom Holding Company IPO

Billionaire prince intends listing, scheduled for Q4 2006, to change the rules for foreign investment in the Saudi stock market. Peter Lee reports from Riyadh.

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the iconic Saudi billionaire who owns big stakes in many Saudi and internationally famous companies – among them Citigroup, News Corp, Saks, Four Seasons, Amazon, eBay and EuroDisney – is planning an international public offering of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC).

In an exclusive interview with Euromoney in Riyadh this weekend, Alwaleed revealed his plans for the IPO, which will take place in October or November this year.

The aim of the flotation is to boost interest and confidence in the Saudi stock market, which fell dramatically last month. In particular, Alwaleed wants the Saudi regulators to open up the local market to allow overseas institutional investors to participate in the IPO and then other listed securities.

Samba will be lead local bank for the deal. Alwaleed has invited five international investment banks to make presentations – JP Morgan, Lehman Brothers, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley. This already short list will be further whittled down perhaps as soon as by Wednesday April 5. He is deep in discussions with the Capital Markets Authority, the stock market regulator.

They have a lot to talk about because this will be no ordinary deal.

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