Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the Saudi prince whose fortune is an estimated $19 billion, has invested $300 million—or 1.5% of his wealth—in the social networking service Twitter. He made the investment through his Kingdom Holding Company and Bloomberg News reports that Kingdom called it a "strategic stake": "A strategic holding means more than 3 percent, Ahmed Halawani, a Kingdom Holding director, said in an interview. That would give the San Francisco-based company a valuation exceeding $10 billion."
Twitter has been increasingly popular in the Arab world, where it was credited with playing a role in the recent social uprisings across North Africa and the Persian Gulf. Arabic-language messaging is the fastest-growing segment on Twitter, according to the data intelligence company Semiocast. The volume of Arabic messages increased 2,146 percent in the 12 months ended Oct. 31.
“We believe that social media will fundamentally change the media industry landscape in the coming years. Twitter will capture and monetize this positive trend,” Ahmed Reda Halawani, Kingdom Holding’s executive director of private equity and international investments, said in a statement.
Of course, some of you may be familiar with the Prince from his thoughts about the "Ground Zero" mosque in Lower Manhattan: He said last year, "I say that I am against putting the mosque in that particular place. And I’ll tell you why. For two reasons: first of all, those people behind the mosque have to respect, have to appreciate and have to defer to the people of New York, and not try to agitate the wound by saying 'we need to put the mosque next to the 9/11 site.' The wound is still there. Just because the wound is healing you can’t say 'let’s just go back to where we were pre-9/11.'" Prince Walid also happens to be a big investor in...News Corporation, parent company of Fox News:
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