(MENAFN - Arab News) Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, chairman of Kingdom Holding Co., announced on Wednesday that he had begun investing more than SR500 million in the Saudi stock market during the past two weeks. The investments were in various sectors, including banking, petrochemicals, telecommunications, and the industrial and consumer sectors. He also expressed his readiness to invest a further half a billion riyals in other companies in line with his investment strategy.
"The Saudi economy is solid. Saudi companies are strong and Saudi share prices are now very attractive," the prince told a press conference in Riyadh.
"Prince Alwaleed's decision to personally invest more than half a billion riyals in the Saudi stock market was made in light of his confidence in the local market under the leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and Crown Prince Sultan," an official statement said.
Prince Alwaleed urged the Capital Market Authority and other relevant authorities to strengthen the Kingdom's bourse by allowing listed companies to sell their shares in accordance with specific rules that ensure justice and prevent irrational price fluctuations.
He also urged the authorities to permit companies and organizations to set up investment funds that would play the role of "market makers."
He said that the total investment by his company and in his personal capacity in the Saudi stock market was worth more than SR50 billion.
He believed the welfare programs announced by King Abdullah after his return following treatment abroad would boost the Kingdom's economy, especially the housing sector.
He said the additional allocation of SR40 billion to the Real Estate Fund and SR20 billion to the Saudi Credit Bank would enable 133,000 Saudis to be given housing loans immediately.
He also commended King Abdullah's decision to address the unemployment problem among Saudis. "There are about 500,000 jobless Saudis and we hope the king's decision will solve the problem in the long run." King Abdullah has announced unemployment benefits for Saudis seeking jobs.