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S. Arabia curbs family influence in Binladin group shake-up

Updated March 19, 2019

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Labours are seen at a construction site in this file photo.— AP/File
Labours are seen at a construction site in this file photo.— AP/File

RIYADH: The influence of Saudi Arabia’s Bin Laden family on its eponymous construction business has been ­curtailed in a restructuring that follows an anti-corruption crackdown by Riyadh, a document seen by Reuters shows.

Saudi businessman Khalid Nahas has been named chairman of the newly-established Binladin Group Global Holding Company, which is 36.22 per cent owned by Istidama, a finance ministry subsidiary, and 63.78pc by Binladin Company for Development and Commercial Investment.

Only two Bin Laden brothers, Saad and Abdullah, are represented on the new nine-person board, the document from the kingdom’s commerce ministry reveals, in a break from the family’s exclusive control over its earlier company, Saudi Binladin Group (SBG).

The stake owned by Istidama reflects the ownership relinquished by brothers Bakr, Saleh and Saad last year after they were arrested in the corruption purge led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

SBG, which for decades built Saudi Arabia’s roads, mosques and palaces, is crucial to ambitious new plans for major tourism and infrastructure projects. It is not connected to Osama, one of the younger brothers in the family.

Published in Dawn, March 19th, 2019