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Perform or perish, Saudi Prince tells Vikram Pandit

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Alwaleed bin Talal, who is a major shareholder in the Citigroup, has told the bank's Indian-American CEO that his two-year honeymoon is now over and 2010 is a make or break year for him.

"I don't threaten those CEOs that I meet but I told him (Vikram Pandit) that the market gave you two years' leeway, but I think now it's time to deliver and 2010 for him is really the year to make it or break it and he has to deliver," Alwaleed said in an interview.

Alwaleed had recently met with Pandit and he had told him that he must deliver solid results in 2010.

"It's very important... For the shareholders that have been very patient with Citibank that the honeymoon is over now; two years is enough and I think he will deliver in 2010," Alwaleed said.

At the interview, the also acknowledged that China is an economic power and eventually, it would translate that into political power.

"China is a rising power. For sure now, China is amassing huge power economically, financially, not yet politically, but I think eventually it is going to ask for this power to be translated to politics — no doubt about that," he said.

On the latest spat between China and the global search engine giant Google, the sided with China arguing that firms should abide by the rules of a country or leave that nation.

"All these have to apply by the rules that are applied in that country. If you cannot play by the rules, then you should leave that country," he said.

Alwaleed also opposed the US President proposal to impose tax on large banks so as to recover the federal money used to fund these institutions during the global financial meltdown.

First Published: Sat, January 16 2010. 14:05 IST