* Assets down 44.4 pct to $13.3 bln
* Says sold some international, local assets in 2008
* Most losses realised on investments in shares
* Declines to say if Citigroup stake sold
(Adds board member remarks to TV)
RIYADH, Jan 20 (Reuters) - The investment firm of Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the largest private shareholder in Citigroup C.N, posted a $8.26 billion net loss in the fourth quarter as the value of its assets dove.
Kingdom Holding Co 4280.SE, also the largest private shareholder on the Saudi bourse, liquidated "some international and local" assets in 2008, board member Ahmad Halawani, told Al Arabiya television.
“The company’s investment committee has taken some decisions last year to sell some of the company’s assets ... The majority of these losses were realised on investment in shares traded internationally and locally,” Halawani said.
He declined to say if the Citigroup stake was part of the stakes it had shed, but said Kingdom’s assets had fallen 44.4 percent to $13.3 billion.
“I don’t want to give more details on where these investments were,” he said when asked if Citigroup shares were part of assets sold.
The company is now in the process of “achieving balance in our investment portfolio”, Halawani added, without elaborating.
The firm, which holds minority stakes in several of the world’s top firms, has booked $4 billion provision by end-2008 for declines in local and international share prices, Halawani said.
Kingdom Holding announced a fourth-quarter net loss of 30.97 billion riyals after the Saudi bourse closed on Tuesday.
“The loss is mainly due to losses realised on our investments in capital markets,” the company said in a statement posted on the stock exchange’s website.
Board member Halawani said the “current global and local conditions affecting stock markets have a direct impact on Kingdom Holding Co”.
Kingdom made a net profit of 255.7 million riyals in the three months to Dec. 31, 2007.
Alwaleed was the world’s 19th richest person with a $21 billion fortune according to Forbes’ latest survey.
About 90 percent of Alwaleed’s holdings in Saudi shares are in Kingdom, in which he owns a 94 percent stake.
Kingdom last week reduced to below 5 percent its stake in Samba Financial Group 1090.SE, Saudi Arabia's second-largest listed bank, and it also owns 10 percent of Savola Group 2050.SE, according to bourse data. [ID:nLK469224]
The conglomerate also owns 6.2 percent in Saudi industrial group Tasnee 2060.SE and is the largest shareholder in Saudi Research and Marketing Group 4210.SE, publisher of pan-Arab daily newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, with a 29.9 percent stake. ($1=3.750 riyals) (Reporting by Souhail Karam; Writing by Inal Ersan; editing by Karen Foster and Simon Jessop)