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Tech Industry

Internet stocks gain on Prince&#039s approval

Investors snapped up (Nasdaq: AMZN), eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY), Internet Capital Group (Nasdaq: ICGE), (Nasdaq: PCLN), InfoSpace (Nasdaq: INSP) and Doubleclick Inc (Nasdaq: DCLK) Tuesday on news that they were good enough for Saudi Arabia's billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

"We decided that if I need a basket of Internet companies then those are the ones," the prince told Reuters from his office in Riyadh.

The Prince said on Tuesday he recently invested $1 billion in 15 U.S. companies, including six Internet firms and two telecommunications giants.

Among the prince's picks, Internet Capital Group (Nasdaq: ICGE) up 3 15/16 to 34 1/16, or 13 percent, and (Nasdaq: PCLN), up 4 13/16 to 55 1/4, or 10 percent, were getting the most mileage.

Among the other stocks, (Nasdaq: AMZN) rose just 33/64 to 56 37/64, eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) was up 6 1/4 to 133 3/4, or 5 percent, Doubleclick Inc (Nasdaq: DCLK) climbed 4 15/16 to 59 11/16, or 9 percent and InfoSpace Inc (Nasdaq: INSP) gained 3 to 61, or 5 percent.

A statement from the prince's Kingdom Holding Company in Riyadh said his investments included $50 million each in the companies.

The prince also said that he would be willing to invest more in the six Internet companies, "if the price corrects to my (target) entry level and my investment gives me a high return.''

The Prince also invested in several other non-Internet companies, including two large stakes in WorldCom Inc (Nasdaq: WCOM) and AT&T Corp (NYSE: T). His largest single purchase was a $200 million stake in telecommunications giant WorldCom, up 13/16 to 42 1/4. He also bought $150 million worth of AT&T Corp.

The announcement was made more than a month after the prince said he invested another $1 billion in U.S. technology stocks. At that time, his moves also inspired investor confidence in America Online (NYSE: AOL) and Compaq (NYSE: CPQ) when he picked them up at discount prices.

The prince added Tuesday that his $1.05 billion investment in America Online Inc (NYSE: AOL) "is my real anchor in Internet investment." AOL shares were up 1/16 to 58 1/2.

Alwaleed's new investments raised the value of his technology, media and telecommunications portfolio to $7.8 billion.

"It's important to have the public know that slowly, but surely, I am shifting from old economy to new economy (stocks)," he said.

Reuters contributed to this report.