31 Arab billionaires claim $76.7b net worth

31 Arab billionaires claim $76.7b net worth
Nassef Sawiris.

Issac John

Published: Thu 8 Mar 2018, 8:18 PM

Last updated: Thu 8 Mar 2018, 10:28 PM

The 31 super-wealthy Arab business tycoons, who have been revealed in the 2018 Forbes US Global Billionaires ranking, boast a combined estimated net worth of $76.7 billion.
Topping the Arab mega rich list is construction and chemical tycoon, Nassef Sawiris with an estimated net worth of $6.6 billion. He is followed by three Emirati business moguls - Abdullah Al Ghurair, Majid Al Futtaim and Hussain Sajwani - with an estimated net worth of $5.9 billion, $4.6 billion and $4.1 billion respectively.
Sajwani is followed by Issad Rebrab, founder and CEO of Cevital, Algeria's biggest privately-held company, with an estimated net worth of $4 billion. Naguib Sawiris, who is a scion of Egypt's wealthiest family, is also worth $4 billion, and trails on the list after Rebrab.
Of all Arab countries, the UAE has the highest number of billionaires from one country (7), followed by Egypt (6).
This year, Forbes' annual ranking - which lists a record of 2,208 billionaires - excluded all Saudi billionaires from the list, following the kingdom's anti-corruption purge.
"Forbes chose to leave off all 10 Saudis given reports of asset seizures after some 200 people, including some billionaires were detained," the publication wrote on its website. The new list, excluding Saudis, has 31 Arabs.
This year Forbes US chose to abstain Saudi Arabia billionaires from the list due to reports revolving around their asset seizures. In 2017, Saudi billionaires were worth $42.1 billion. This year they were expected to be worth more considering the rise in oil prices and capital markets globally.
As a result, the total wealth of Arab billionaires has fallen from $123.4 billion to $76.7 billion, and 11 have dropped off the charts: last year there were 42; today there are 31.
In November, Saudi Arabia's large-scale anti-corruption purge saw over 300 individuals, including members of the royal family, businessmen, and former and current government officials, get arrested, with many forced to turn over their personal fortunes to the kingdom.
Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has, for years, been ranked as the world's richest Arab, with a net worth of $16.5 billion.
The billionaire was detained by Saudi authorities and was released after two months of detention at Riyadh's Ritz Carlton, where a number of those arrested were being held. Forbes estimates Talal's net worth to be at $17.4 billion with a majority of his monetary value lying in the Saudi-listed investment firm Kingdom Holding Company, which lost billions following his arrest.
According to Forbes list, Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos - whose net worth amounts to $112 billion - outranked Bill Gates, and became the first person to ever have a net worth over $100 billion on the list of the world's billionaires.
Others among the global top include, Bill Gates ($90 billion), Warren Buffett ($84 Billion), Bernard Arnault ($72 billion, Mark Zuckerberg ($71 billion), Amancio Ortega ($70 billion), Carlos Slim Helu ($67.1 billion), Koch brothers ($60 billion), each and Larry Ellison ($58.5 billion).
According to recently released Hurun Global Rich List 2018, as the world added 437 new members to its Billionaire Club in 2017 - more than one a day - the UAE witnessed the emergence of three new billionaires: all from Dubai.
Ranked 20th globally in billionaire population, the UAE expanded its line-up of ultra rich people to 24 in 2017 with Dubai, the world's 24th billionaire city, home to 19 of them.
Hurun List ranked a total of 2,694 billionaires from 68 countries and from 2,157 companies in another record-breaking year for the world's billionaires. -issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com

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