Markets Brace for Potential Fallout From Arrest of Billionaire Investor Saudi Prince

The 32-year-old crown prince often known as MBS has projected himself as a liberal reformer in the ultra-conservative kingdom

The 32-year-old crown prince often known as MBS has projected himself as a liberal reformer in the ultra-conservative kingdom

The prince was the son of Muqrin bin Abdulaziz Al Saud - who was the crown prince of Saudi Arabia from January to April in 2015.

Among those being held is the billionaire owner of London's Savoy hotel who has invested in Twitter and Apple.

The cause of the crash was not detailed in the report. "Any asset or property related to these cases of corruption will be registered as state property".

Al-Arabiya reported that the committee is looking into devastating and deadly floods that overwhelmed parts of the city of Jeddah in 2009 and is investigating the Saudi government's response to the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus that has killed several hundred people in the past few years. The group was created by a royal decree "due to the propensity of some people for abuse, putting their personal interest above public interest, and stealing public funds", the Saudi government said.

Saudi Arabia's heir to the throne Mohammed was overseeing an unprecedented wave of arrests of dozens of the country's most powerful princes, military officers, influential businessmen and government ministers.

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Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah has been relieved of his post as minister of the National Guard and replaced by Khaled bin Ayyaf, while Economy Minister Adel Fakieh is replaced by his deputy Mohammed al Tuwaijri.

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The Ritz Carlton hotel in Riyadh, the de factor royal hotel, was evacuated Saturday, stirring rumours that it would be used to house detained royals. One of the world's richest men, Alwaleed has significant equity holdings in several USA technology companies, as well as stakes in Saudi companies across the real estate, retail and petrochemical industries.

It also comes as the Kingdom appears to be in the midst of a major purge of rivals to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

President Donald Trump's administration has cheered Crown Price Mohammed's rise while touting the young royal as a forward-thinking economic and social reformer.

His investment firm Kingdom Holding - whose share price plunged 10 per cent on Sunday in response to news of his detention - recently bought about half of a 31.1 per cent stake in Saudi lender Banque Saudi Fransi from France's Credit Agricole. It also sends a message that the crown prince has the full backing of his father, King Salman, to carry out sweeping anti-corruption reforms targeting senior royals and their business associates, who have always been seen as operating above the law. Both are sons of the late King Abdullah, who ruled before his half-brother King Salman.

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