Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding buys into British insurer M&G Plc

 Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding buys into British insurer M&G Plc

Saudi Arabia-based Kingdom Holding has invested a little over SAR1 billion ($229 million) in UK-based M&G Plc, one of Europe’s biggest insurers and asset managers.

The Saudi investment firm controlled by prince Alwaleed bin Talal said the investment is aligned with its strategy of investing in global leaders and diversifying exposure in new and promising sectors.

The firm did not divulge any other details including the size of the stake it acquired.

Kingdom Holding, which manages assets in excess of SAR 50 billion, is listed on the Tadawul Stock Exchange. It had disclosed last month that it invested $3.4 billion in new sectors, such as alternative financing, mobility services and artificial intelligence e-commerce, insurance and asset management.

Traditionally, Kingdom Holding has backed companies across sectors such as banking real estate, healthcare, education, petrochemical, hotel management, hotel real estate, social media, and mining and commercial aviation.

In May, bin Talal had sold 16.87% of the investment firm to the country’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, for $1.51 billion.

M&G ranks among the biggest asset managers in Europe with assets under management of more than $350 billion. It has more than 5 million customers and operates across 28 markets.

Bin Talal has had strained relations with the kingdom’s de-facto ruler, prince Mohammad bin Salman, who had put him and 10 other princes under house arrest in November 2017, soon after taking over power in Saudi Arabia.

Bin Talal is one of the wealthiest people in the world and is a shareholder in several marquee companies like Twitter. After initially refusing to sell his stake to Tesla founder Elon Musk, he had acquiesced. The deal is now off, with Musk saying he is no longer interested in acquiring the social media platform.

Aman Malik

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