BEIRUT: Prince Alwaleed bin Talal maintained his reign at the top of the world’s richest Arabs with an estimated wealth of $20.4 billion, followed by Joseph Safra, of Lebanese-Brazilian descent, in second place with $16 billion, and Saudi Arabia’s Mohammad al-Amoudi in third at $15.3 billion, according to Forbes Middle East.
Forbes Middle East released its April issue with the list of billionaires and multimillionaires from 13 countries around the Arab world.
The magazine said that the combined fortunes of the 100 richest Arabs amounted to a colossal $166.07 billion in the 2014 list.
It also added that 45 of the 100 richest Arabs shared a total wealth of $147.7 billion.
Revered names from Lebanon also feature among the top 10 with former Prime Minister Najib Mikati and his brother Taha enjoying a wealth of $3.5 billion each.
This year’s list also includes names from Egypt such as Nassef Sawiris with a wealth amounting to $5.9 billion, and with the UAE represented by Abdulla bin Ahmad al-Ghurair & family and Majid al-Futtaim with $31 billion and $3.6 billion respectively.
Also among the top 10 richest Arabs are Sheikh Suleiman bin Abdul-Aziz al-Rajhi with a net worth of $6 billion and Mohammad Bin Issa al-Jaber, who is an Arab businessman and philanthropist with a net worth of $7 billion.
According to Forbes Middle East, Algeria makes its first billionaire appearance on the list this year with self-made food industries tycoon, Issad Rebrab.
Alongside Algeria’s entry, this year features 10 Arab newcomers.
The magazine’s cover story features Omar Alghanim, CEO of Alghanim Industries and son of the company’s billionaire chairman Kutayba Alghanim, as he seeks to continue the success of his family’s multibillion dollar conglomerate.
Out of the 100 trailblazing tycoons on this year’s list, Saudi Arabia takes the lead with 39 rich residents and a combined wealth of $64.9 billion. Where the number of entries is concerned, Egypt ranks second with 15 names followed by the UAE with 14, while Lebanon clinches the runner-up spot in terms of combined wealth, with a sum of $30.65 billion.
Sector-wise, a total of millionaires and billionaires have made their fortunes in banking, while diversification and retail have proven lucrative, each claiming 14. Rounding up the top five sectors are real estate and the GCC giant, oil and petrochemicals.
As for global billionaires, Forbes research revealed a total of 1,645 billionaires, including 42 new female entrants in 2014 – with an aggregate net worth of $6.4 trillion, up from $5.4 trillion in 2013.
Bill Gates has returned to the global top spot following a four-year hiatus with $76 billion. Gates grabs the No. 1 rank from Mexico’s Carlos Slim Helu, who now resides in second with $72 billion.
In third place is Spain’s retail king, Amancio Ortega with $64 billion, followed in fourth by Warren Buffett with $58.2 billion.
A record net worth of $31 billion was needed to make the global top 20 this year, and the biggest gainer was Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg whose fortune rocketed to $28.5 billion from $15.2 billion in 2013.