Business, Economics and Jobs

Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed claims Forbes understates his wealth


Saudi tycoon and key Citi shareholder Prince Alwaleed bin Talal speaks during a news conference for his Kingdom Holdings in Riyadh on January 11, 2010.



Saudi Arabian prince Alwaleed Bin Talal has a somewhat unusual complaint: he thinks that Forbes magazine undervalued his wealth in their 2013 list of billionaires, placing him in 26th place with a wealth of $20 billion.

According to the BBC, Alwaleed — who has made his billions largely off of investments, and is the founder and CEO of Kingdom Holding Investments — says that his wealth actually tops $29.6 billion, which would put him in a comfortable spot in tenth place on the prestigious Forbes listing.

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An incensed Alwaleed has said he will sever all ties with Forbes, and has accused the magazine of doing harm to Saudi-US relations, according to the Guardian.

Forbes stands by their assessment of Alawaleed's wealth, releasing an article that states quite plainly that Forbes "doesn't buy" his $29.6 billion figure.

The financial magazine claims in the analysis piece that Alwaleed inflates his own net worth, and that he is particularly concerned with securing a high ranking on the Forbes list.

"The value that the prince puts on his holdings at times feels like an alternate reality, including his publicly trading Kingdom Holdings, which rises and falls based on factors that, coincidentally, seem more tied to the Forbes billionaires list than fundamentals," noted Forbes editor Kerry Dolan in the article.

"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," said Kingdom Holdings chief financial officer Shadi Sanbar in a press release of the situation, according to the Guardian.

"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."

Who was at the top of the Forbes 2013 list?

Honors go to Mexico's Carlos Slim Helu and family, whose net worh tops out at a remarkable $73 billion.

Slim was followed by Microsoft maven and philanthropist Bill Gates, with a net worth of $67 billion.