Saudi billionaire's daughter tweets joy after his release

Detainees were released after reaching financial settlements with authorities, which expect to raise $100 billion from this.

"He has arrived home", one source in Prince Alwaleed's family said.

Neither the prince nor the Saudi information ministry was available for comment.

Hundreds were arrested, including some of the country's richest men, several children of the late King Abdullah, and the kingdom's top economic policy maker.

Kingdom Holding, traded on the Saudi Tadawul All-Shares Index (TASI) has been one of Saudi Arabia's most important investors with shares in USA tech giant Apple and social media site Twitter, among others.

He had a close relationship with former Citigroup Chief Executive Sanford "Sandy" Weill, and has nurtured close ties with other Wall Street leaders including Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein.

Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal sits for an interview with Reuters in the office of the suite where he has been detained at the Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia January 27, 2018. "If that is all that it was, I wonder if anything will change". The government, however, has not named those detained nor discussed the specific allegations against them. "There are just some discussions between me and the government", he said. Government officials have repeatedly denied that claim.

"The end of the current phase of the corruption campaign during Davos is signaling a shift in Saudi strategy for welcoming investors who have been deeply disturbed by this episode", said Theodore Karasik, a senior adviser at Gulf State Analytics in Washington.

Those detained were accused of bribery, money laundering as well as extorting officials. The billionaire maintained his innocence in his interview with Reuters, saying all his dealings had been appropriate and that it was "very important to come out of this clean and pure".

Earlier reports had suggested that he was preparing to cough up a cash settlement in return for his freedom, although the reported breakdown of those talks led to suggestions that he may he put on trial.

Alwaleed bin Talal and his fellow detainees weren't doing hard time.

About 95 people still remain under detention.

Prince Alwaleed's associates, who include a relative, told The Associated Press that his terms of release were not immediately known.

Al-Tuwijri said that target was "realistic".

After freedom, the prince said, he plans to continue living in Saudi Arabia and getting back to run his business.

  • Jon Douglas