PRINCE ALWALEED BIN TALAL SEVERS TIES W/FORBES BILLIONAIRES

(The following is a reformatted version of a press release
issued by The Private Office of HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal
and received via electronic mail. The release was confirmed by
the sender.) 
HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Severs Ties With Forbes
Billionaires List 
Valuation Process Flawed and Inaccurate, Displays Bias Against
Middle East Investors and Financial Institutions 
The Private Office of His Royal Highness Prince Alwaleed Bin
Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Kingdom Holding Company announce
that they have ended their long-standing relationship with the
Forbes Billionaires List. The relationship was severed in a
letter from His Royal Highness, Chairman of Kingdom Holding
Company, to Mr. Steve Forbes the Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of
Forbes, requesting that the Prince be removed from the list and
informing Forbes that KHC officials would no longer work with
the Forbes valuation teams. 
Prince Alwaleed has taken this step as he felt he could no
longer participate in a process which resulted in the use of
incorrect data and seemed designed to disadvantage Middle
Eastern investors and institutions. 
Over the past six years, Kingdom Holding Company officials,
working with the Forbes teams, have uncovered what appear to be
intentional biases and inconsistencies in the Forbes valuation
process including, especially this year: 
•     A sudden refusal after six years to accept share values as
listed by the Tadawul - Saudi Arabia’s fully regulated, 21st
century, high-tech stock exchange that services the largest
economy in the Middle East and is a member of the World
Federation of Exchanges. 
•     A completely unsupported and biased allegation based on
rumors that stock manipulation “is the national sport” in Saudi
Arabia because “there are no casinos.” 
•     The application of differing standards of proof for
different individuals and organizations resulting in an
arbitrary and confusing set of standards that seems demonstrably
biased against the Middle East. For example, the valuations of
other emerging markets such as the Mexican stock exchange are
accepted while those of the Tadawul are not. 
•     Unexplained and purely arbitrary discounts applied to
holdings not backed up by brokerage statements when pre-IPO
investments such as those in Twitter and China’s 360Buy would
not appear on any brokerage statement, and after impressing on
Forbes that KHC’s investments are covered by confidentiality
agreements. 
Shadi Sanbar, CFO of Kingdom Holding explained, “We have worked
very openly with the Forbes team over the years and have on
multiple occasions pointed out problems with their methodology
that need correction.  However, after several years of our
efforts to correct mistakes falling on deaf ears, we have
decided that Forbes has no intention of improving the accuracy
of their valuation of our holdings and we have made the decision
to move on. KHC puts a premium on tracking the true value of our
investments and it is contrary to both our practice and nature
to assist in the publication of financial information we know to
be false and inaccurate.” 
Kingdom Holding Company will continue to work with the Bloomberg
Billionaires valuation teams, which HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin
Talal considers to use a more accurate method of calculating
financial holdings. 
The Private Office of HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal has retained
counsel and reserves its rights in law and at equity. 
(bjh) NY 
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