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MENAFN - Arab Times - 25/04/2011

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Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal (left), talks to journalists during a press conference in Kuwait City
(MENAFN - Arab Times) Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, whose firm Kingdom Holding has bid for a quarter stake in Zain Saudi, expects to complete the deal two months after finishing a due diligence process.

Kuwaiti telco Zain, which has a 25-percent stake in Zain Saudi, has conditionally accepted a 950 million offer from joint bidders Bahrain Telecommunications Co (Batelco) and Kingdom Holding.

He expects the due diligence process to take as many as six weeks to complete.
"We now started... the Zain Saudi (due diligence) which is expected to take between a month to a month and half," Alwaleed told reporters in Kuwait.

"If everything goes well we expect to complete the deal of buying Zain Saudi from Zain Kuwait within 2 more months."

Last week, Zain Saudi said its first-quarter net loss narrowed as the telecoms operator offered new services and packages to lure customers but the quarterly loss was still wider than analysts forecasts.
Alwaleed, a prominent investor in Citigroup, said the U.S. bank's one cent dividend was for the short-term, adding that the bank was "on the right track."

"No doubt that the 1 cent dividend is very symbolic and is for short-term.....the leadership in Citi announced publicly that 2012 will be the year of returning shareholders capital which would happen through two ways, either increase the dividends or some share buyback," he told reporters.

Meanwhile, Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal announced Sunday an agreement has been reached on returning most of his disputed agricultural land in Egypt back to the government.

Alwaleed said he would return 75,000 out of a 100,000-acre (40,469 hectare) agricultural property frozen two weeks ago by Egypt's public prosecutor after raising questions over the legality of its sale in 1998.
"We have reached a preliminary deal satisfactory to us, to the Egyptian people and government to return 75,000 acres," Alwaleed told reporters in Kuwait City.

"We have signed the deal which will be studied and approved by the Egyptian government."
Alwaleed, a nephew of the king with an estimated fortune of 20 billion, said he would continue to invest in the remaining 25,000 acres of the property known as Toshka, but no further details were disclosed.
The prince said he had taken the agricultural property "as a service to the Egyptian people," and that he could have sought international arbitration but decided against it.

Egypt's former president Hosni Mubarak resigned on February 11 following weeks of anti-regime demonstrations.

Since the fall of Mubarak, the Egyptian government has been cracking down on a large number of allegedly corrupt deals involving former top officials.

Alwaleed said his companies run key investments in Egypt including 20 hotels besides banking, real estate, entertainment and agricultural investments.


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