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Poor Little Rich Prince

If you think the meltdown has hit you hard, spare a thought for Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, 53, Citigroup’s largest individual investor, who has lost 19 percent of his personal wealth in the past year. Twelve months ago the Saudi billionaire was worth a cool $21 billion, but as of December 2 his personal fortune had slumped to just $17.08 billion, according to the Dubai-based magazine Arabian Business’ website. Alwaleed, a nephew of the late King Fahd bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, stands out among more than 2,000 other Saudi princes because he’s made money, reports Bloomberg. After earning a bachelor’s degree from Menlo College near San Francisco, he returned to the Persian Gulf and parlayed an inheritance of less than $1 million into a billion-dollar fortune in the 1980s, mostly through real estate. Apart from his hefty Citigroup stake, which has plummeted 70 percent in price since the start of 2008, Alwaleed’s assets include a Boeing 747, an Airbus A380, yachts, 400 other vehicles, a jewelry collection, investments in a French port, stakes in Lebanese and Palestinian companies, and a large stash of cash. The report doesn’t say whether he invested any money with Bernard Madoff.

December 14, 2008 4:10 AM