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Saudi’s Prince Alwaleed pledges entire $32bn fortune to charity

He said some of the donated wealth will include his personal stake in Kingdom Holding.
Kingdom Holding Company, in which Prince Alwaleed has a 95 per cent stake, has high-profile investments in various sectors. Fayez Nureldine / AFP
Kingdom Holding Company, in which Prince Alwaleed has a 95 per cent stake, has high-profile investments in various sectors. Fayez Nureldine / AFP

Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has vowed to give away his $32 billion fortune to charity.

“In time all my wealth will go to good causes. Right now the bulk of the income not the assets will go to good causes,” the 60-year old prince told reporters in Riyadh. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, he is the world’s 20th richest person with a fortune of $30.5bn.

No shares in his flagship firm Kingdom Holding will be sold and he would retain full control of the Riyadh-listed firm, he added.

“The donation will be allocated according to a well devised plan throughout the coming years,” said the prince. “It will be based on a strategy that is supervised and managed by a board of trustees headed by me to ensure that it will be used after my death for humanitarian projects and initiatives.”

Since Bill Gates and Warren Buffett announced the Giving Pledge in 2010, about 200 individuals from around the world have promised to give away more than half of their fortune in life or death. Gates and Buffett are leading by example. The two richest Americans, who are worth $151bn combined, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, have put more than $46bn into the Gates foundation.

Kingdom Holding Company, in which the prince has a 95 per cent stake, has high-profile investments in various sectors including stakes in American lender Citigroup, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, Disneyland Paris and Twitter.

His local investments include Saudi carrier flynas and Jeddah Economic Company, which is building the world’s tallest tower in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah.

A group led by CDCIC International Capital, the international investment arm of France’s sovereign wealth fund Caisse des Depots, has agreed to invest $150 million in Kingdom Holding, according to reports this week.

Kingdom Holding posted a 10.3 per cent increase in first quarter net profit to 139.4 million Saudi riyals (Dh142.3m) from 126.4m riyals in a year-earlier period.

Kingdom Holding shares fell 1 per cent to Dh21.75 riyals in afternoon trading on Wednesday.

dalsaadi@thenational.ae

* with Bloomberg

Updated: July 1, 2015 04:00 AM

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