So how did we do it?
Six months ago we assembled the names of over 450 companies and individuals, and began with a valuation of their assets.
In each case, a family or individual’s stake in a company has been obtained. We have then assessed the value of that company. Where this information is publicly available through stock exchanges, an exact figure has been obtained.
Where not, we have judged a company’s value in comparison to that of a similar but publicly-listed company in the same country, based on an equivalent price/earnings. Where no comparison is available, we have estimated the total value of all assets in a company, including those of its subsidiary operations that could in theory be separately sold.
Where sales and profit figures are available, we have assumed a very conservative price/earnings ratio of 10 in order to obtain a company’s valuation. All individual assets, such as property, cars and yachts have been estimated separately and added to an individual’s total.
Where an individual’s wealth is held largely in cash, we have assumed an annual increase based on the average interest rate for the past five years in the individual’s country of residence (though we accept funds may be held offshore — if anything therefore the estimate is likely to be conservative).
We have also added all share sales to the final figure, based on official stock exchange releases between 1999 and 2010. The value of land owned by individuals has been estimated based on average market values between Dec 2009 and Nov 2010.
To read the full Arabian Business Rich List 2010, click here
Stats and facts
This year's list sees an unprecedented 24 new entries. The vast majority (33) of those who made the top 50 this year come from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a country that has been as insulated as anywhere else on Earth from the worst reavges of the financial crisis. The average wealth of those on the list is $5.3bn. 58 percent made their money in one or another through construction, and a quarter can rightly call themselves titans of retail. There are fourteen people who have lost ground on the list, and thirteen climbers. The total wealth of the top fifty richest Arabs in the world in 2010 was over $250bn.
Sources of Information
Bloomberg; Dow Jones; Factiva. com; Reuters Business Briefi ng; Economic Intelligence Unit; Stock Exchanges from 21 countries; Forbes; Business Week; News Week; Sunday Times (UK); Fortune; BusinessAge; EuroBusiness; The Economist; World Country Fact Book; Yahoo Finance; MSN; Google; UK Land Registry Records; US Land Registry; Ministry of Information (eleven countries); Hoovers Company Reports (228); Merrill Lynch Global Reports (86); Associated Press; Financial Times (UK); Los Angeles Times (USA); USA Today (USA); Gulf News (Dubai); Global Stock Markets Factbook (Standard & Poor’s); Mena Development Report (Trade Investment and Development in the Middle East); Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Report.