Saudi Rich List
Wed 26 Aug 2009 07:24 AM
HRH Prince Alwaleed

HRH Prince Alwaleed

Industry: Construction & Industry

Company: Kingdom Holding Company

Country: Saudi Arabia

Wealth: 16.3 Billion

HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud is the world’s richest Arab and the Middle East’s most high-profile businessman. He has assumed an iconic status, his far-sighted investments in firms such as Citigroup, Apple and News Corporation having garnered a fortune that was at one point worth as much as $28bn.

Today, some of his more ambitious investments are showing the strain of the global economic slowdown. The depreciation in value of his five percent stake in Citigroup, for example, has been well-documented. However, today’s tribulations are unlikely to distract HRH from his long game.

“He’s a very determined man, very sure of himself and very sure of every investment he enters into,” says one Saudi-based analyst who has spent many years watching HRH and his group,
Kingdom Holding Company (KHC)

. “He won’t rush into a purchase or a sale, and that discipline means that he has been able to ride out any periods of uncertainty. When he buys stock, he buys it for the long term, not just to make a quick profit.”

Last December,
Arabian Business

was granted unprecedented access to the private financial accounts of HRH. Over the course of several hours in Riyadh, our reporter was shown detailed notes on HRH’s investment portfolio and other assets, including cash.

This insight enabled us to publish the most accurate assessment ever made of HRH’s personal wealth — all of it confirmed by confidential documentation shown to
Arabian Business

– and even nine months later, it enables us to confidently assess the current size of HRH’s fortune.

The net total wealth of HRH can be broken down into five areas: first, the publicly traded stocks, which all fall under

. On August 23, this was valued at $7.26bn; a 95 percent stake in the firm with shares trading at SAR4.55, down 3.19 percent year-to-date.

Second, the HRH’s major companies outside

(namely Rotana and LBC, which are today valued at $1.56bn), and an engineering consultancy worth close to $12m. Then the real estate owned by Prince Alwaleed, which has taken a relatively small hit since December in the wake of the global economic slowdown, and can be valued at $3.18bn.

Fourth, other major assets valued at $1.7bn. A large chunk of this — $822m — is the value of his transportation assets (including the world’s first private A380 ‘superjumbo’, dubbed the ‘Flying Palace’). The rest is made up by his jewellery collection, his investment in a French port and his stakes in Lebanese and Palestinian companies.

Finally, the value of HRH’s cash reserves remains confidential; we are assured it has not changed significantly since we were allowed to see the verified total figure in December.