US Markets

Saudi Prince Alwaleed says Twitter's 'best days are yet in front of them'

Saudi Prince Alwaleed on AT&T-Time Warner deal

Saudi billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal told CNBC on Thursday he remained optimistic on Twitter, while he was skeptical that AT&T's planned acquisition of Time Warner would go through.

"I believe that the best days are yet in front of [Twitter] and I believe that what Mr. Jack Dorsey is doing, we are beginning to see early indications of success," the Twitter investor said in a telephone interview with "Squawk on the Street."

"We are beginning to see the growth in use, which was very much requested by the market," he said. "And I believe the coming quarters will continue to issue the growth that is needed and expected from Twitter."

Twitter shares are down more than 30 percent over the last 12 months amid questions about growth. No buyer has stepped up for the social media company despite a record month in October for U.S. merger and acquisition announcements by value. The month saw the biggest tie-up proposal of the year in AT&T's more than $85 billion tie-up with Time Warner.

"It's going to go through a lot of regulatory screening. It's beyond just Mr. [Donald] Trump. And the market expectation that this deal may or may not happen, materialize, is not very high," Alwaleed said.

"I understand it's a vertical integration, not horizontal, but still, I think it's going to go some deep scrutiny by the regulators in the United States," he said.

Alwaleed is chairman of Kingdom Holding, whose top investments include Time Warner, Twitter, Citi, Apple and eBay, according to the firm's website.

The Saudi prince also told CNBC he was more positive about Trump, saying the real estate mogul would likely be different in office than as a candidate.

Of his other investments, Alwaleed said Apple "delivered very good results," but the market wants more from its management.

He said Citi is back to becoming "a money-making machine" given "capable" management and the potential for rising interest rates, adding the stock could rise to $60 or $70 a share. Shares of the bank were 2.4 percent higher, above $52 a share, in midday trading.

The Saudi billionaire also said "Snapchat is a very good company." But at least for now, he said, "I don't use Facebook or Snapchat. I only use Twitter."

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