By investing in Gazprom (GZPFY), Rosneft and Lukoil, Kingdom was likely looking for undervalued assets, but his move came as many Western nations imposed sanctions on Russian energy companies and their executives following Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine.
Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states have so far tried to maintain what they see as a neutral position on the war in Ukraine, frustrating some Western officials who have tried to isolate Russia over the invasion.
The kingdom invested 1.37 billion riyals ($365 million) and 196 million rials ($52 million) in Gazprom and Roseneft global depositary receipts in February.
The company also invested 410 million rials ($109 million) in Lukoil’s US depositary receipts between February and March, Sunday’s detailed disclosure of recent investments revealed. It gave no reason for any of its specific investments.
Kingdom Holding, which is 16.9% owned by the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, had not previously disclosed the details of its investments.
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal rose to international prominence after making a large winning bet on Citigroup (C) in the 1990s and he was an early investor in Apple (AAPL). The prince has also made hundreds of millions of dollars by investing in companies like Uber (UBER) and Twitter (TWTR).
Alwaleed’s investment style has focused on new opportunities that could be lucrative but carry risk, as well as undervalued assets, a source with knowledge of Kingdom’s business said in June.
Saudi Arabia and Russia lead the OPEC+ group, an alliance formed in 2017 between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allied producers.