Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, chairman of Kingdom Holding Company, tells Reuters that he does not intend to sell any shares and expects Twitter’s IPO to hit the market later this year or early 2014.
Alwaleed invested US$300 million into the burgeoning social media giant in 2011.
The prince believes that the firm is worth approximately US$14 billion to US$15bn, but admits that some of the estimates are higher and declined to comment on whether Twitter would be listed on the New York Stock Exchange – a move that could be seen as a reaction to Facebook’s disappointing experience on Nasdaq.
“In my discussion with Costolo (CEO of Twitter) and the management, I cautioned them to be very careful and to not to repeat the mistakes of Facebook. The lesson [to remember] is to not brag too much. Don’t be greedy, I mean, price it right and be realistic,” says Alwaleed.
“This could be a good surprise for the market, if Twitter’s revenue is coming from mobile, when compared with fixed devices, and are way ahead of what Facebook came up with at the time of the IPO.”
In Iran, the micro-blogging site is not receiving the same level of approval.
Twitter was censored after the 2009 re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – an influx of tweets played an instrumental role in organising demonstrations.
On Monday, Iranians enjoyed brief access to both Twitter and Facebook, before a firewall was put back in place on Tuesday. For a few hours only, social media users were able to browse and post freely, without the use of a virtual private network (VPN).
The news of the access quickly went viral, but Tehran poured water on talks on new internet freedom, blaming the unblocking as a ‘technical glitch’.
“The lack of a filter on Facebook last night was apparently due to technical problems and the technological committee is investigating this issue,” says Abdolsamad Khoramabadi, secretary of a state panel that filters sites.
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