Arabian Business Power 500 2013
Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Al Saud
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Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Al Saud

Industry: Banking & Finance

Company: Kingdom Holding Company

Designation: Chairman

Country: Saudi Arabia

After nine years of the Arabian Business Power List, Prince Alwaleed remains at the top of the tree. Last year, when we interviewed him in the Kingdom Tower in Riyadh, the shares of Kingdom Holding, the company he chairs, had shot up 147 percent in twelve months.

And it’s the last year that has, even by his standards, been extraordinary, with KH’s investment strategy across thirteen different sectors paying off big time. He withstood calls to withdraw from News Corp after the phone hacking scandal, and has now seen its share price hit a five-year high.

He resisted the pressure to jump on the Facebook bandwagon before its disastrous IPO, and was savvy enough to nab a $300m investment in Twitter, which observers suggest has rocketed in value. And his decision to stick with Citigroup through many years of thick and thin also now looks completely vindicated. But it’s the prince’s key investments that have made a huge difference, including a 34 percent jump this year in News Corp’s share price. “I have a very structured life: every day the same thing,” the prince told us last year. “That it is like I am on autopilot and why should I change it? It is a recipe for success. If it ain’t broke, why fix it?” Why indeed.

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