By Claire Ferris-Lay
Rich List sees 19 billionaires record losses, Bin Ladin sees biggest fall in pack
Defying the credit crunch, the world’s 50 richest Arabs have recorded only minimal loses this year, according to the Arabian Business Rich List 2011.
Nineteen billionaires have seen their wealth fall over the last 12 months compared to 18 entrants that have increased their personal wealth. In spite of the fall, only one entrant has lost more than $1bn.
This year’s biggest decline was recorded by the Saudi billionaire, Bakr Bin Ladin, founder of the kingdom’s Binladin Group, who saw his estimated wealth drop from $9.8bn in 2010 to $7.25bn this year.
Bin Ladin, who features eighth on this year’s list of super wealthy, is a major power broker in Jeddah but tends to keep a low profile. Despite the fall in personal wealth Bin Ladin has continued to grow his family-owned conglomerate this year.
In November, the firm announced it had signed a SAR8.5bn ($2.26bn) syndicated finance package with a consortium of regional and international lenders to help it execute a $5.7bn project to develop and expand King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah.
Overall, 13 entrants that saw their wealth decline come from Saudi Arabia, two from Kuwait, two from Palestine and one from Egypt.
Palestine’s Said Khoury saw the second largest biggest losses in this year’s list, recording a decline of 7.4 percent to $6.5bn. Khoury is the part owner, along with his cousin Hasib Sabbagh, of the Consolidated Contractors International Company, a contracting company headquartered in Greece.
Saudi Arabia’s Osama Abudawood and Mohamed Elkhereiji also saw marginal losses in 2011.