The Kingdom Holding Company, run by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, says it will acquire from Credit Agricole a 16.2 percent stake in Banque Saudi Fransi in a deal valued at around USD 1.5 billion. Kingdom Holding is acquiring the stake from Credit Agricole SA's corporate and investment banking arm, positioning Alwaleed's company as the largest shareholder in the bank, which has some 86 branches across Saudi Arabia and is among the biggest lenders there. In a statement today, the prince said the investment in Banque Saudi Fransi demonstrates the company's confidence in Saudi Arabia's efforts to diversify the economy in line with a Vision 2030 blueprint. The prince's investment firm has a number of high-profile holdings, including in Twitter, Apple, News Corp and Citigroup.
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