Complex Made Simple

Saudi Bakr bin Laden gives up SBG control: Campaign on power brokers full on!

Saudi bin Laden Group (SBG): Dissolved (or on the way)

Saudi Oger: Bankrupt

These two Saudi construction companies were in 2016 ranked 1 and 2 respectively, and are now both effectively defunct.

Big money, and economic pillars crashing, are now the trend.

Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal: Detained.

Saudi Princes Naif bin Sultan and Saud bin Sultan, sons of billionaire Prince Sultan bin Mohammed Al Kabeer: Jailed, according to Bloomberg.

“Naif is also chairman of Zain Saudi, the kingdom’s third-largest telecommunications operator,” said Bloomberg.

It’s just the way it’s going to be from now on.

The bigger they are, the harder they will fall.

What happened to SBG?

Not to miss: Saudi Bakr bin Laden: A great tumble for the builder of worlds’ tallest tower

Crumbling under the pressure

Has Bakr bin Laden cracked at his Riyadh Ritz detention center, where he’s been staying since last November with Prince bin Talal, who by the way has refused to relinquish control of his $9bn Kingdom Holding?

Has Bakr succumbed in return for his freedom?

He’s not out yet, but word of his relinquishing control of SBG is.

Reuters has exclusively reported that the Saudi state is taking control of SBG.

“Saudi Arabia is taking managerial control of Saudi Binladin Group and discussing a possible transfer of some of the giant construction group’s assets to the state while its chairman and other family members are in detention,” sources told Reuters.

“Binladin, which had over 100,000 employees at its height, is the biggest builder in the country and important to Riyadh’s plans for large real estate, industrial and tourism projects to help diversify the economy beyond oil.”

Read: Saudi’s focus on moderate Islam requires rejecting September 11 lawsuits

AMeinfo recently exclusively reported on how Bakr bin Laden’s SBG has been hurt financially over the years especially after the Mecca crane incident that killed over 107 people in 2015.

SBG in 2011 signed a $1.23 billion contract to build the tallest building in the world, Jeddah Tower.

Among its various national and international projects are the $23bn expansion of the Holy Mosque and the $3.2bn Jabal Omar development in Mecca, the construction of the $2.3bn Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport, and works in the $8.27bn King Abdallah Economic City (KAEC).

“Since the detention of Bin Laden family members, the finance ministry has formed a five-member committee, including three government representatives, to oversee the group’s business and handle relations with suppliers and contractors,” the sources told Reuters.

Read: Kuwait making one more optimistic push to resolve the GCC crisis

SBG Burdened with debt

“Although ownership of Binladin currently remains with the family, the group is in negotiations with the government about the potential transfer of some assets to the state, or possibly reducing or eliminating the government’s outstanding debts to Binladin,” the sources said.

“One banking source with detailed knowledge of the group said the debt might total around $30bn – the legacy of a period about 18 months ago when the government held off from settling many of its debts as its finances were hurt by low oil prices.”

Saudi Oger’s bankruptcy 

According to an Aug 1, 2017, Saudi Gazette report, Saudi Oger, formerly owned by the Lebanese Hariri family, ended operations on the last day of July 2017 after 39 years in the business.

The company had been at loggerheads with Saudi officials and hit hard by the slowdown in the kingdom’s construction sector and delays in government payments.

“Oger’s debt to local banks was estimated at SAR13bn ($3.5bn) in November 2016 and it was speculated at the time it could seek a substantial debt restructuring deal,” said the Gazette.

Not satisfied, Saudi is now relentlessly pursuing to extradite Saudis living abroad on corruption charges.

Read: No Ritz or room service this time: 11 new Saudi princes jailed  

You can run but you can’t hide

Saudi Arabia plans to extradite its nationals living abroad and involved in corruption cases, the Sabq local online news reported last Thursday, quoting Xinhua news agency.

“Attorney General of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and member of the Supreme Committee for Combating Corruption Sheikh Saud al-Mujab asserted that anti-corruption efforts would continue and suspects in corruption cases who fled the country would be brought back in cooperation with states they are living in through international arrest warrants after enough evidence is collected against them,” the Chinese news agency reported.

“The suspects are part of the biggest corruption case in Saudi Arabia that led to the arrest of 159 individuals including princes and sitting and former ministers in November 2017.”

Mujab said that the cases against the suspects weren’t only related to money but also to exploitation of power.