Saudi Prince al-Walid bin Talal said Tuesday he had invested a further one billion dollars in 15 "new and old economies", raising his stake in technology, media and telecommunications companies to 7.8 billion dollars.
Prince Walid "acquired stocks in six Internet companies, seven household and consumer product companies, in addition to stakes in (telecommunications companies) ATT and MCI WorldCom," a statement issued by his Kingdom Holdings Co. said.
The billionaire tycoon invested 50 million dollars each in Internet service providers Amazon.com, eBay.com, DoubleClick.com, priceline.com, InfoSpace.com and ICGE.com.
"The investments came when stock prices of the six Internet companies nearly collapsed with some dropping as much as 70 percent," the statement said.
"With the strong emergence of new economy companies, he has carefully picked a bouquet of Internet stocks to complement other existing technology-related investments."
Prince Waleed had already invested one billion dollars in technology and Internet shares in early April, including 400 million dollars in Internet giant America Online (AOL), 400 million dollars in Compaq Computer Corp., and 100 million each in Eastman Kodak Company and Xerox Corp.
As part of his most recent investment, a further 200 and 150 million dollars were ploughed into telecommunications giants MCI WorldCom and ATT.
"They bridge the gap between old and new enterprises by upgrading traditional telecommunications through the utilisation of sophisticated technology and Internet know-how," the statement explained.
The prince also invested 50 million dollars each in "old economies" Gillette, McDonald's, ProcterGamble, Coca Cola, Pepsi, Ford Motor Co. and Walt Disney.
The new investment through a family trust brings the prince's total investment in technology, media and telecommunications companies to 7.8 billion dollars.
His other investments include Citicorp, Daewoo Corp, Hyundai Corp, Proton, Canary Wharf, Eurodisney, Norwegian Cruise Line, Four Seasons-Regent, Saks Fifth Avenue and Donna Karan International.
Prince Walid, a nephew of Saudi King Fahd, says he built his fortune, estimated at 17 billion dollars, from an initial gift of 30,000 dollars from his father and a 300,000 dollars loan from Citibank, using his house as collateral.
The 43-year-old prince, who is ranked as the world's eighth wealthiest entrepreneur by Forbes magazine, built his global financial empire by investing in major companies experiencing hard times - (AFP)
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