Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#62 Alwaleed Al Saud $17.3B

Random fact: Detained in Saudi Arabia's anti-corruption drive in November 2017.

Overview

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud is the founder of Kingdom Holding, a Riyadh-based conglomerate that has investments in hotels, real estate and equities, including Citigroup, GM and News Corp. He also controls 80 percent of Rotana, one of the biggest media companies in the Middle East, and has stakes in Lyft and Twitter.

As of Nov. 23, 2017:
Last change +$24.3M (+0.1%)
YTD change -$2.43B (-12.3%)
Industry Diversified
Biggest asset KINGDOM AB Equity
Citizenship Saudi Arabia
Age 62
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Alwaleed Al Saud's net worth of $17.3B can buy ...

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Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
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Confidence rating:

The majority of Alwaleed's fortune derives from his 95 percent stake in publicly traded Kingdom Holding. Since the stock trades Sunday through Thursday, and the Bloomberg Billionaires Index updates at the close of U.S. business days, his valuation each Monday reflects the previous Thursday's closing price.

He also has investments in real estate, stocks, media, private equity and aircraft. Alwaleed provided what he said are fair-market valuations for these assets as of June 30, 2017. When possible, these valuations have been confirmed independently.

His most valuable closely held asset is Saudi real estate. He owns land in and around Riyadh, a 420-room palace, the top three floors of Kingdom Tower, and other residences. He said his properties are valued at $4.59 billion. A 10 percent liquidity discount is applied.

He also owns an 80.5 percent stake in Rotana, which produces and broadcasts television across the Middle East. According to Alwaleed, his stake in the company is valued at $980 million, which he said was based on its insured value, and discounted in the first half of 2017 following the closure of the Al Arab television network.

His stakes in companies throughout the Middle East are valued at $898 million, according to Alwaleed. As of Dec. 31, 2017, he said his investments outside the Middle East, including shares in publicly traded companies such as Citigroup and Chinese online retailer JD.com, were valued at $3.18 billion. This figure includes 30.8 million shares of Twitter that he holds directly, according to a December 2016 13G filing with the SEC. Kingdom Holding separately owns another 4.2 million shares, which are reflected in the value of his Kingdom stock. He declined to provide details about the publicly traded investments, most of which couldn't be verified because he holds less than 5 percent of the companies.

Biography

Birthdate: 3/7/1955
Family: Divorced, 2 children
Education: 1985, Syracuse University, Master's Degree 1979, Menlo College, Business Administration, Bachelor's Degree

The self-proclaimed Warren Buffett of Arabia is one of the most public members of the Saudi royal family. The prince is the son of Prince Talal and Princess Mona El-Solh, daughter of Lebanon's first prime minister, Riad El Sohl. He is also a nephew of the late Saudi ruler, King Abdullah. Alwaleed split time between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon while growing up.

He moved to the U.S. to study business at Menlo College in California in 1975. He returned to Saudi Arabia after graduating and began investing in real estate with a $30,000 loan from his father. In his biography, "Alwaleed: Billionaire, Businessman, Prince," Alwaleed said he made his first billion dollars selling land and serving as a point man for multinational companies angling for local contracts.

He drew attention from the international investing community in 1991, when he invested $590 million in Citibank. He went on to invest in many publicly traded U.S. companies, including News Corp., Disney and Apple. He often invests personally alongside his publicly traded conglomerate, Kingdom Holding.

Alwaleed has accumulated an empire of luxury hotel properties. Today, he owns stakes in New York's Plaza Hotel, the George V in Paris and the Four Seasons hotel group. Famous for his eccentric, high-cost lifestyle, Alwaleed and his entourage travel on a Boeing 747 retrofitted with two bedrooms and a dining room that seats 14. When in Saudi Arabia, he lives in his 420-room, 370,000-square-foot palace in Riyadh. He owns five other residences in the area.

Milestones
  • 1979 Graduates with a degree in business from Menlo College.
  • 1991 At request of CEO John Reed, boosts Citicorp holdings to $590 million.
  • 1996 Spends $303 million to buy and renovate Paris's George V hotel.
  • 2001 Gives $10 million to New York after 9/11 attacks. Money returned.
  • 2007 Kingdom Holding goes public on Saudi stock exchange, raises $860 million.
  • 2011 Announces world's tallest building: 3,281-foot Jeddah tower.
  • 2011 Invests $300 million in social media company Twitter.
  • 2015 Pledges to donate all of his fortune to charity.