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Mon 24 Dec 2007 03:15 PM

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Arabs billionaires top the league

The Arab world now boasts a record 46 billionaires, according to the latest Arabian Business Rich List.

The Arab world now boasts a record 46 billionaires, according to the latest Arabian Business Rich List.

The list also shows a record number of 13 new entries in the list. This year's highest riser in fifth place is Maan al-Sanear, worth US$10 billion - a massive jump of US$8.6 billion and a rise of 33 places up the list. The former Kuwaiti fighter pilot, now based out of Saudi Arabia, has made the most of rising oil prices and the infrastructure boom - helping towards the funding of a 3.1% stake in the world's second largest bank HSBC that is now worth US$6.1billion.

The list's highest new entry is the 70 year old former Deputy Prime Minister of Lebanon Issam Fares now boss of the Houston-based investment firm Wedge Group. With a US$2.4 billion fortune, he joins the list straight in at number 27.

Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed has topped this year's list of the world's 50 richest Arabs, with a fortune of US$29.5 billion.

The magazine reports that Prince Alwaleed's flotation of Kingdom Hotel Investments this year has proved a huge success. Last month at the Dubai Air Show, it was confirmed that the Prince is the world's first private buyer of the Airbus A380.

At the other end of our list, propping up the top 50, is Syrian born Moafaq Al Gaddah with US$700 million. The diversification of his MAG Group into real estate has clearly paid dividends.

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