Prince Alwaleed shows absolutely no signs of slowing down. Profits at his Kingdom Holding Company for the first three quarters of this year surged 10 percent to $58.1m.
The group is one of world’s largest and most diversified private investment companies with holdings in a large number of Saudi Arabian, Middle Eastern and international companies. Today, Kingdom Holding Company, of which he owns 95 percent, covers 39 investments in seven sectors.
It is the largest foreign investor in the US, with stakes in the likes of News Corporation, Time Warner, Apple and Citi. Regionally, major players from Samba Financial Group to Savola all have the KHC stamp on their shareholdings. But despite so much success, there is no sign of the prince slowing down, with the last twelve months witnessing phenomenal growth. He has announced that construction work on the world’s tallest building, the Kingdom Tower, in Jeddah, has now begun.
In October, Kingdom sold its interest in the Fairmont Hotel and Raffles Suites & Residences in Manila for SAR218m (US$58.1m). The deal was signed with a unit of the Philippines’ Ayala Land and earned an estimated profit of SAR22m, Kingdom said.
In the next year, Prince Alwaleed will also roll out his own 24-hour news channle, Alarab, based in Bahrain, which will directly compete with the likes of Al Jazeera and Sky News Arabia.
Last, but by no means least, Prince Alwaleed continues to be one of the globe’s most prolific philanthropists, having donated more than $3bn to good causes.
The small kingdom is among the most economically vulnerable of the GCC states, with high debt levels, low reserves and slow GDP growth. But it has identified jewels in its accelerating non-oil economy that will help it forge a new path for the future.