Arab pride's a bitch! Lesson learnt by Forbes when it gets rich with Saudi Prince
Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal has lashed out at Forbes magazine for underestimating his fortune. The famous Arabian big spender is certain that the American business rag has taken liberties in down-sizing his wealth. The BBC recently reported the royal grievance at this perceived slight - humility and modesty obviously not being qualities which the billionaire prince values.
According to the region’s celebrity rich Sheikh, Forbes’ slur on the prodigal prince was found in its latest edition of the richest people listings. The figures they published estimated Prince Alwaleed's net worth at $20bn, ranking him only the world's 26th richest person.
The prince's press office toed a typically Arab conspiracy line on the matter, putting the erroneous estimation by the magazine down to the flawed valuation methods that it claimed were "designed to disadvantage" Middle Eastern investors. This globe-trotter - not one for being pinned down or under-valued - is the same man said to be building what will be the world’s tallest tower. As a result of this cardinal sin in estimation, the prince’s posse have appealed to Forbes to slash the prince from its rich list.
In a hissy-fit befitting a royal and even more a royal celeb, they refuse to have any more dealings with the institution and its ‘valuation’ teams, who they deem in need of rectifying. The investor oil sheikh's entourage are instead taking their custom to better valuation standards and companies, and presumably will build their sandcastles elsewhere.
This all begs the question, what is the Prince actually worth? (Not in moral terms, mind, but how much is his bank account rolling?) The statement by the Kingdom Holding Company did not indicate what it thought was the actual net worth of Prince Alwaleed, but some media reports quoted a figure of about $29.6bn.That figure would have put Prince Alwaleed in the top 10 in the magazine's latest list of the world's richest people, nudging him up a full 19 places or more.
But it's not all poverty and protest in the Middle East, since also included in the fresh list from Forbes is another Arab—sort of—investor, Mexico's Carlos Slim. This Lebanese Latino - who retains strong ties to his family roots in the Levant- and whose fortune is estimated at a whopping $73 billion, maintained the top slot for the fourth straight year.
Do you think that our Prince Waleed Bin Talal should be so keen to flash his cash? Or do you think he should flaunt it less while Arabs are facing hardship? Do the Forbes rich-lists need cross-checking?
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