Saturday, August 23, 2008

List of the world's richest royals

UAE president Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan has been ranked second in a list of the world's richest royals.

The ruler of Abu Dhabi's fortune of approximately $24 billion was topped only by the King of Thailand's $36 billion. Meanwhile, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, was ranked fifth with an estimated fortune of $18 billion.

Elizabeth II, the Queen of England, is now the world's 12th richest monarch after slipping one place in the royal rich list published by Forbes Magazine.

Top of the royals, according to the list, is King Bhumibol Adulyade - the world's longest-reigning monarch - who bumped last year's winner the Sultan of Brunei out of first place.

Estimates of the Thai king's fortune rose seven-fold since last year due to increased transparency over his holdings.

The Sultan of Brunei - one of only two rulers to see their wealth fall during the year - is now in fourth place with an estimated fortune of $20 billion.

Ahead of him is the UAE's Sheikh Khalifa and King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, who was ranked third with a fortune of about $21 billion.

As a whole the monarchs grew richer, seeing their collective wealth increase to $128 billion.

Middle Eastern royals have done particularly well during the past 12 months with the price of oil soaring.

The richest royals:

1. King Bhumibol Adulyade of Thailand
2. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates
3. King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia
4. Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei
5. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai
6. Prince Hans-Adam II von und zu Liechtenstein of Liechtenstein
7. Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani of Qatar
8. King Mohammed IV of Morocco
9. Prince Albert II of Monaco
10. Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said of Oman

1 comment:

v said...

Please see more detailed Article by Forbes (The Crowning Fortune) on Thai King's wealth here:
http://www.forbes.com/magazines/global/2008/0901/032.html

The $35 billion is misleading, since, as stated clearly in the new Forbes Article, the Bangkok real estate holdings are worth $31 billion.

Research for 2005, shows the total income of Crown Property Bureau (CPB) at $280 million (adjusted for current exchange rate). In that total, $200 million was from company dividends, and only $80 million from the real estate. This is consistent with the recent Bangkokpost citation that most of CPB's land is leased at low-priced, below market rate to state agencies, NGOs, and low-income tenants. It was also stated that only 7% of the land is leased at commercial rates. Paul Handley makes the same comment in the new Forbes Article that the CPB is not charging market rates, and that "raising them would cause serious repercussions, especially for its thousands of low-income tenants."

How much of the annual income generated by the CPB goes to charity is unknown, but I am sure a good share of it does go to charity.

So, don't treat the $35 billion figure as if it was the King's disposable income. It is not. The greater bulk, ie. $31 billion, is real estate leased cheaply to state agencies and low-income people, and most of the rest is in share holdings which are invested in the long-term (good for economic stability).

The new Forbes Article makes the point that the CPB's goal is: "to aid the country's development by investing in key industries and providing below-market-rate housing for low-income citizens."

So I think the King is using his assets wisely and for benefit of Thailand