Saudi Arabia’s HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has topped the Arabian Business Rich List for the ninth year in succession, with his current wealth now standing at US$25.9bn.
The figure – verified by his private office – is a staggering US$4.6bn more than it was 12 months ago. A large part of the increase is put down to the remarkable rise in the share price of Kingdom Holding, the company 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.”
Second place on this year’s list went to Saudi Arabia’s Olayan family, with a wealth of US$12.9bn, while another Saudi - Mohammed Al Amoudi - was ranked third, with US$11.5bn.
This year’s entry level was $2bn, with Iraq’s Namir Al Akabi taking 50 place.
The 2012 Arabian Business Rich List also contains a record 15 new entries, with Saudi Arabia dominating the list. Of the top 50, 23 of this year’s entries are based in the country. Five of the top ten are based in Saudi Arabia.