Kingdom Holding invests $300m in Twitter

20 December 2011

Social media website receives Saudi boost

Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding Company (KHC), founded by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al-Saud has made a $300m investment in US-based social networking website Twitter. The website was valued at $8bn in August this year.

KHC made the announcement on its website on 19 December 2011.

“Our investment in Twitter reaffirms our ability in identifying suitable opportunities to invest in promising, high-growth businesses with a global impact,” says Prince Alwaleed.

The social website was credited with helping to spur on the protests of the Arab uprisings, helping demonstrators to communicate with one another and with the outside world.

Arabic is now the fastest-growing language used on Twitter, according to the data intelligence company Semiocast. The volume of Arabic messages has grown by 2,146 per cent in the 12 months ending in October, which places Arabic in the top eight languages on Twitter.

“We believe that social media will fundamentally change the media industry landscape in the coming years. Twitter will capture and monetise this positive trend,” says Ahmed Halawani, executive director of private equity and international investments at KHC.

KHC already has investments in the media sector, including a 29.9 per cent stake in Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG) the country’s largest publisher with titles including Arab News and Sayidati magazine. Prince Alwaleed also plans to launch his own Arabic news channel next year.

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