RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said he was among investors helping Citigroup Inc, which posted its first quarterly loss since its creation in 1998, to raise $12.5 billion in convertible preferred securities.
The investment is a "continuation of his strong support of Citigroup, and belief in its long-term success and profitability", the prince said in a statement on Tuesday through his Kingdom Holding Co.
The prince, a nephew of Saudi King Abdullah, is Citigroup's largest individual shareholder, owning 3.6 percent of the biggest U.S. bank by assets through Kingdom Holding, in which he holds a 95 percent stake.
The Saudi billionaire also came to the bank's aid in 1991, when he invested $590 million in Citigroup predecessor Citicorp, which needed cash as it struggled with Latin American loan losses and a collapse in U.S. real-estate prices.
"The size of Prince Alwaleed's investment in the convertible preferred securities is in line with maintaining his direct, and indirect interest through Kingdom Holding Co, below the 4.9 percent ownership threshold," the prince said in Tuesday's statement.
The U.S. bank reported a $9.83 billion fourth-quarter loss on Tuesday.
Alwaleed began investing after graduating from California's Menlo College in 1979. A year later, he received a $300,000 loan from Saudi American Bank, which was run by Citicorp, according to his authorized biography "Alwaleed: Businessman, Billionaire, Prince," written by former Cable News Network host Riz Khan.
The prince is now the world's 13th richest man, according to Forbes magazine.