Lebanese Richest Men: Mikati richest man in Lebanon, Slim richest in world
BEIRUT: Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati, currently trying to form a new government in Lebanon, was ranked by Forbes as the richest man in Lebanon and the 409th richest person in the world with $2.8 billion. Mikati 55, and his brother Taha, 62, who founded M1 Group, and is also ranked at 409th with the same net worth, moved down from 374th last year.
Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati, currently trying to form a new government in Lebanon, was ranked by Forbes as the richest man in Lebanon and the 409th richest person in the world with $2.8 billion.
Mikati 55, and his brother Taha, 62, who founded M1 Group, and is also ranked at 409th with the same net worth, moved down from 374th last year.
In 1982, Najib and Taha founded Investcom, a telecommunications company that operated in emerging markets. The company was bought by MTN Group Ltd., Africa’s largest mobile-phone company, in 2006 for $5.5 billion.
It is worth noting that the Mikati family do not have any known investments in Lebanon.
M1 Group’s holdings include Geneva-based Baboo airline, French retailer Faconnable, Avante Petroleum, an exploration and production company and a stake in Bank Audi SAL-Audi Saradar Group, Lebanon’s largest lender by assets.
Bahaa Hariri, the eldest son of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri who was assassinated in 2005, was ranked as the 459th richest person in the world with a fortune of $2.5 billion. Taha Mikati also owns the contracting Arabian Construction Company (ACC) which has billions of dollars in contracts in many countries around the world.
Hariri moved down from 316th place last year when his net worth was $3 billion. The 44-year-old Boston University graduate left the family owned Saudi Oger Ltd., a construction, utility and telecommunications company to run his own property business. He became the first member of his family to break with 33-year- old Saudi Oger, which was founded by his father and has built hotels, hospitals, power plants, military compounds and most of the Saudi Royal family’s palaces.
Hariri’s new company, Horizon Development Group, focuses on real estate in Jordan, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. The company is in partnership with Jordan’s government-owned real-estate developer to build a downtown neighborhood called Al-Abdali in Amman valued at more than $3 billion.
Hariri’s younger brother, caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri, 40, was ranked 595th with a net worth of $2 billion, down from 536th place, although his net worth rose from $1.9 billion in 2010. Saad also runs the Riyadh-based Saudi Oger.
Mexico’s Carlos Slim, 71, who is of Lebanese descent, remained the world’s richest person for a second year with estimated assets of $74 billion, according to Forbes magazine’s annual global ranking of billionaires.
By Massoud A. Derhally