Alwaleed expects Citi to register profit in 2010

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. (SUPPLIED)

Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a major shareholder in Citigroup, expects the US bank to post a profit in 2010.

Alwaleed said his investment firm Kingdom Holding earned a profit in the last quarter of 2009.

Speaking at his Kingdom Tower's headquarters, Alwaleed said, "In 2010, I'm looking for stabilisation and profitability also. I'm expecting 2010 to be profitable for Citi".

Asked if the first quarter of 2010 would be profitable for Citi, he said: "I don't know but I hope."

Alwaleed said Kingdom Holding would not make a loss in the fourth-quarter of 2009. "We have had a profit in the previous quarters of 2009, I expect us to keep on this trend," he said.

The firm's investment in Citi is worth some $4.3 billion (Dh15.78bn), based on Citi's closing price on Friday. Alwaleed said the US bank had put the worst behind it and was now on the right path.

Alwaleed said last week that Kingdom would slash its capital by almost half while agreeing to transfer free-of-charge 180 million Citi shares – which he valued at $3.31 each – from his own pocket on to Kingdom's balance sheet. Alwaleed, one of the world's wealthiest individuals, said that the worst was now behind for Citigroup, that global markets were close to the end of the crisis, and that he expected positive results at the US bank in 2011.

 

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