Saturday, August 29, 2009

Prince Alwaleed Remains Richest Saudi

As an investor I've always been interested in, Prince Alwaleed carries an interesting story. His Citigroup investment has been well documented, first as a wild success, and then, well we all know what happened to Citigroup in 2008. I read his biography and reviewed it awhile back (Click here to read review and purchase book).

Today, I found a piece from Bloomberg giving us an update on how he has survived the recession. So far, it looks like he's done well:


Aug. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, Citigroup Inc.’s largest
individual investor, was ranked the richest Saudi national by Arabian Business,
even after losing 4.6 percent of his personal wealth in the past year.

Alwaleed’s assets are valued at $16.3 billion, compared with $17.1 billion
last year, the Dubai-based magazine said today in its 2009 Saudi Rich List,
citing the accounts of Kingdom Holding Co., the prince’s investment company.

The global credit crisis, lower oil prices and a decline in demand for crude have hurt investment and energy companies operating in Saudi Arabia. Kingdom Holding’s second-quarter profit slumped 83 percent as returns on Alwaleed’s investments in stock markets and hotels fell.

“Today, some of his more ambitious investments are showing the strain of
the global economic slowdown,” Arabian Business said. “The depreciation in value
of his 5 percent stake in Citigroup, for example, has been well-documented.”
Citigroup lost 73 percent of its value in the past 12 months as investment
losses eroded its capital.

Alwaleed, nephew of the late King Fahd bin Abdulaziz al- Saud, stands out
among more than 2,000 Saudi princes because he has made money. After earning a
bachelor’s degree from Menlo College near San Francisco, he returned to the
Persian Gulf and parlayed an inheritance of less than $1 million into a billion-
dollar fortune in the 1980s, mostly through real-estate investments, according
to Riz Khan’s biography “Alwaleed: Businessman, Billionaire, Prince”(William
Morrow, 2005).

Apple, Time Warner
The prince, 54, built his fortune by investing in brand- name companies he considered undervalued, including Apple Inc., News Corp. and Time Warner Inc. Forbes magazine estimated he was worth $13.3 billion in March, ranking him 22nd among the world’s billionaires. This year, Alwaleed’s investments haven’t kept pace with the Saudi benchmark. Shares of Riyadh-based Kingdom Holding have declined 4.3 percent. The Tadawul All-Share Index, the largest market in the Middle East by market value, has gained 19 percent.

Kingdom Holding’s assets are valued at $7.26 billion, while the Prince owns $3.18 billion of real estate and $1.56 billion of media assets such as LBC and Rotana Holding, Arabian Business said, citing his financial accounts. Alwaleed’s other major assets, including an Airbus A380, are valued at $1.7 billion.

The value of the prince’s cash remains confidential, the magazine said, adding that “we are assured it has not changed significantly since we were allowed to see the verified total figure in December.”

1 comment:

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