Saudi Arabia expects to collect $13B in settlements, RE assets this year

Collections from those detained in the government's corruption crackdown will be liquidated: official
February 11, 2018 11:31AM

From back: The Plaza Hotel, Saudi Arabia’s flag and Prince Alwaleed bin Talal (Credit: Pixabay; Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia’s corruption crackdown, where hundreds were detained in Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton hotel for weeks, is over in some senses, but now the government is looking to collect on the deals made between the detained business leaders and officials.

The government estimates it will collect about $13 billion in cash, real estate and corporate assets from the various detainees by the end of the year, according to The Financial Times. The country’s new portfolio made up of the amalgamated assets is expected to be worth over $100 billion in time and managers have been hired to direct the fund.

The Times reports the long-term plan is to use the funds to offset the country’s $52 billion fiscal deficit and liquidate the holdings, however officials say they’re in no rush for the latter.

“With assets, we need to be careful with the liquidation as we need the market to remain stable,” an official told the Times. “We have plenty of reserves and debt capacity left, there is a good tail wind helping us now.”

Billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was detained in the crackdown and, though now free and back at the head of his investment company, it is unclear the terms of his arrangements with the government. He is a minority owner of the Plaza Hotel. [FT]Erin Hudson