By Anil Bhoyrul
Country accounts for second highest number of entrants into 2012 Rich List
The UK is home to 10 percent of the world’s 50 richest Arabs, according to the 2012 Arabian Business Rich List.
Five billionaires operating out of the UK made the list – Ayman Asfari, Wafic Said, Mohammed Ibrahim, Nadhmi Auchi and Mohammed Al Fayed.
The list is however dominated by Saudi Arabia, with 23 entrants based in the country. The top three in the list – HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the Olayan family and Mohammed Al Amoudi – all operate out of Saudi Arabia, which accounts for five of the top ten slots.
The UAE takes just three slots, led by Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, ranked in 12 place with US$6.4bn.
Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed topped the Arabian Business Rich List for the ninth year in succession, with his total current wealth now US$25.9bn.
The figure – verified by his private office – is a staggering US$4.6bn higher than 12 months ago. A large part of the increase is put down to the remarkable rise in the share price of Kingdom Holding, the investment vehicle in which he owns a 95 percent stake. By early December, Kingdom shares were trading 147 percent higher compared to a year ago.
In an interview with Arabian Business, Prince Alwaleed – referring to his wealth – said: “I know I am up but I didn’t know by this much - but it’s a very pleasant number and we welcome it as it shows that my shareholders at Kingdom have benefited too. “
He added: “For any chairman or CEO of a company, the main yardstick of the success comes from the strength of his balance sheet, the growth in income and the performance of his share price. These are the three indicators of success at the end of the year. In all these three, I say thanks to Kingdom Holding members – I never use the word employees. They number 24 people. That’s it. This is to the credit of all the members who contributed to this success. The share-price movement reflects the performance of the company.”