1.HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Al Saud
The rapid rise in the price of KHC stock means that the Prince’s 95 percent stake in the Company, together with his private assets, which include real estate and other local, regional and international assets, and Rotana, which is 80 percent owned by the Prince, now bring his total wealth to $25.9bn. It also places the prince in pole position for the eighth year in succession.
But arguably, the past twelve months have been amongst his very best. By early December Kingdom Holding shares registered a remarkable 147 percent rise over the previous twelve months.
Kingdom Holding is active in thirteen sectors; financial services; real estate; hotel management; hotel real estate; aviation; petrochemicals; media and publishing; entertainment; private equity; healthcare and education; consumer and retail; agriculture, and various African investments.
Second-quarter results for this year show a net profit of SR178.9m ($47.70m), compared to SR163.5m in the same period a year earlier. That equates to a 9.4 percent rise, while first-quarter profits went up 11.3 percent, thanks in part to the sales of its stake in Toronto's Four Seasons Hotel and its share of the Oasis Kingdom project in Riyadh.
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, a company in which he holds a 7 percent stake. Kingdom Holding also made a $300m investment in Twitter last year, which sources suggest equates to around 4 percent of the company.
As in previous years, our estimate for the Prince’s total wealth has been verified by his private office.
Laura Desmond has spent a career looking after the fortunes of some of America’s biggest brands. Ahead of the Publicis-Omnicom mega-merger, the chief executive of giant ad agency Starcom MediVest Group talks trends, tech and Twitter