Prince Alwaleed back at work after detention, company says

The motorcade carrying US Secretary of State John Kerry arrives at the Ritz Carlton Hotel early in the morning in Riyadh

The prince, dubbed the Warren Buffett of Saudi Arabia, was released on Saturday after almost three months in detention after an undisclosed financial agreement with the government.

Saudi Arabia's billionaire royal, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, was back in his office Thursday, looking to minimise the damage caused by his almost three months detention at the Ritz Hotel.

Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

The Saudi corruption investigation was ordered by King Salman and headed by his son, Mohammed bin Salman, who detained over 300 people in the high-end Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh, and brought in financial forensic examiners to vet the affairs of the detainees.

Saudi Arabia announced Tuesday that it has released most of the businessmen, officials and princes who were being held in a luxury hotel in Riyadh in connection with a broad crackdown on corruption.

Some cases have been referred to the public prosecutor, who ordered the release of any remaining detainees against whom there was not sufficient evidence, as well as those who admitted guilt and agreed to settlements with the government.

In the absence of more information, speculation has run rampant about whether Prince Alwaleed secured his freedom by handing over part of his fortune - previously estimated by Forbes magazine at $17 billion - or stood up to the authorities and won.

Numerous details are still not available but Prince Mohammed has been leading the kingdom's plan to take the Aramco public.

In the first few days after his detention, Kingdom Holding's share price plunged 23%, erasing $2.2 billion of his personal fortune on paper.

Kingdom published a photo of Prince Alwaleed reviewing documents behind a large wooden desk and still sporting the grey beard he grew in detention.

He added that the strategy of Kingdom Holding continues to be to create strong investor appeal and a business environment in Saudi Arabia.



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