Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, the Saudi Arabian investor with an estimated personal fortune of $32bn, says he does not expect his wealth to surpass that of his “role model” Warren Buffet anytime soon.
Alwaleed, currently ranked as the 18th richest person in the world, made his fortune through major investments in equities including Apple and Citigroup. In the last year, his Kingdom Holding investment vehicle, in which he is 95 percent shareholder, has also benefited from a public listing of Twitter and a major stake buy in Chinese e-commerce firm JD.com.
Since September 3, publicly traded shares in Kingdom have risen by 41 percent, inflating the prince’s personal fortune by more than $6bn.
Still, Alwaleed told Bloomberg that he does not see his wealth gaining on Buffett’s, who is currently estimated to be worth $57.8bn, according to Bloomberg.
“Remember last year, in 2013, Buffett was one of the biggest gainers on the stock exchange, way bigger than me,” Alwaleed told Bloomberg. “You can’t look at only four, five months. I still say Buffett is way ahead of me.”
Alwaleed suggested that he would be prepared to take public more of Kingdom’s assets, which include major shareholdings in Four Seasons Hotels and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.
“We’re pushing all the companies we’ve invested in - Four Seasons, Fairmont, JD.com, all the projects in Saudi Arabia - towards monetisation,” Alwaleed said. “I don’t want use the word IPO, monetisation. It could mean going public, could mean mergers and acquisitions. Those are our jewels and they are really incredible names in their arenas.”