One of the world’s richest men is in dispute with Forbes, the publisher of an annual list of the world’s biggest billionaires, over exactly how rich he is.
Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, the Saudi investor whose interests range from the Hotel George V in Paris to a stake in Twitter, announced on Monday that he had “severed ties” with the Forbes billionaires list, accusing it of a “flawed” valuation method that displayed a bias against middle eastern investors.
Prince al-Waleed has issued a press release in response to fact-checking questions from Forbes,” the publisher countered: “Forbes has been investigating the prince’s finances for several years, and will detail its findings in a feature story in the magazine, which will be released online [on Wednesday].
Forbes, owned by Steve Forbes, ranks the prince as the world’s 26th richest individual, estimating in its 2013 list that his net worth had risen $2-billion (U.S.) in the past year to $20-billion.
The statement from Kingdom Holding Company, the diversified investment group in which the prince holds a 95 per cent stake, made no mention of the prince’s own estimate of his riches, but a spokesperson for Fortune said he had estimated his wealth at $29.6-billion.
That would put him just inside Forbes’ top 10, above Bernard Arnault of LVMH and the heirs to Walmart founder Sam Walton.
Kingdom said it would continue to work with the compilers of the Bloomberg Billionaires index, launched last year as a rival to Forbes’ long-established list, using the market data for which Bloomberg is best known...