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Sat 14 Nov 2009 10:24 AM

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Saudi’s King Abdullah among 'world’s most powerful people'

US head Barack Obama tops Forbes' inaugural ranking of world's most powerful people.

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz has been recognised as one of the top ten most powerful people in its inaugural ranking by Forbes magazine, released this week.

King Abdullah

who was ranked ninth in the elite list was described by the magazine as:

“Absolute ruler of desert Kingdom that contains the world's largest crude oil reserves, two holiest sites in Islam. State-owned oil producer

Saudi Aramco

most profitable company on Earth, earns more than $200bn a year, has reserves of 260 billion barrels or 25% of planet's known supply. Ultimate succession unclear: 85-year-old king's official heir is 81-year-old Crown Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud. In 2006, established committee of senior princes to ensure smooth transition in the event both become incapacitated.”

In compiling its first ranking, Forbes said it had narrowed the list to 67 people, "a number based on the conceit that one can reduce the world's 6.7 billion people to the one in every 100 million that matter."

"The goal in compiling this list is to expose power and not glorify it, and over time reveal how influence is as easily lost as it is hard to gain," the magazine said.

US president Barack Obama

was named the world's most powerful person in the rankings.

Obama, whose popularity at home and abroad has boosted the image of the United States according to numerous surveys, topped the list that also features Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden and TV talk show host Oprah Winfrey as people wielding some influence over the world.

World and industry leaders dominated the top 10 of the list, which Forbes said was assessed on the number of people the person influences, their ability to project power beyond their immediate sphere of influence, their control of financial resources and how actively that person wields power.

Also on the list were financial heavyweights including Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein (18) and billionaire investor

and philanthropist Warren Buffett (14)

, as well as Pope Benedict (11).

Bin Laden came in at number 37 and Winfrey at number 45.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown came in at number 29 while Queen Elizabeth failed to make the list.

The top 10 list is as follows:

1. US President Barack Obama

2. Chinese President Hu Jintao

3. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin

4. US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke

5. Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page

6. Carlos Slim, Chief Executive of Mexico's Telmex

7. Rupert Murdoch, chairman of media group News Corp.

8. Michael T. Duke, Chief executive, Wal-Mart Stores

9. Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz

10. Bill Gates, co-chairman, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


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