Prince Alwaleed, Saudi Arabia's self-proclaimed Warren Buffett, has seen his fund, Kingdom Holdings, return 52% since Sept. 5, when it hit a 52-week low.
And the prince has told Bloomberg that there's more where that came from.
“We have hidden treasures, lots of rich assets that aren’t publicly traded,” Alwaleed, 58, said by phone from Crans-Montana, Switzerland, where he was vacationing with his family. “They are worth more than $11 billion to $12 billion, and the market could value them at more than double that.”
His big winners recently have been Twitter, the Fours Seasons, and Chinese e-commerce retailer JD.com Inc. It's the second biggest e-commerce site in China and is considering an IPO.
Alwaleed owns 95% of Kingdom Holdings and has said since the company went public in 2008 he hasn't sold a single share. He's chasing Warren Buffett, his idol, but says that despite his recent success he won't be catching up to the Oracle of Omaha any time soon.
Alwaleed's openness about his wealth has not quieted the doubters, though. Last year, Alwaleed severed ties with Forbes' Billionaires List, saying that the publication's reporters gave Kingdom Holdings undue, biased scrutiny.
That prompted a brutal take down from Forbes reporter Kerry Dolan, who wrote:
Of the 1,426 billionaires on our list, not one–not even the vainglorious Donald Trump–goes to greater measure to try to affect his or her ranking. In 2006 when FORBES estimated that the prince was actually worth $7 billion less than he said he was, he called me at home the day after the list was released, sounding nearly in tears. “What do you want?”he pleaded, offering up his private banker in Switzerland. “Tell me what you need.
Since then, Alwaleed had been shooting down tales about him and his fund left and right. Most recently Kingdom Holdings put out a press release dispelling the rumor that he owns a diamond-encrusted Mercedes Benz, and charged people $1,000 just to touch it.
The whole rumor was silly really, considering that the car was only worth a couple million. Just a drop in Alwaleed's bucket.
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