Saudi's Alwaleed slips in world rich list -Forbes

DUBAI, March 6 Thu Mar 6, 2008 8:58am EST

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DUBAI, March 6 (Reuters) - Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a shareholder in Citigroup Inc (C.N), fell six places in the Forbes magazine list of billionaires this year to 19th, though he remained the richest Arab with a $21 billion fortune.

Kuwait's Nasser al-Kharafi and Egypt's Naguib Sawiris, chairman of Orascom Telecom ORTE.CA, held on as the second- and third-richest Arabs, with $14 billion and $12.7 billion respectively, according to U.S. magazine's annual list released on Thursday.

Saudi Arabia's Mohammed al-Amoudi, whose businesses include oil, gas and construction, slipped to sixth place and the United Arab Emirates' Abdul Aziz al-Ghurair to seventh among the richest Arabs, according to Forbes.

Ghurair is chief executive of Mashreq MASB.DU, the UAE's third-largest lender by market value.

Onsi Sawiris, who founded the Orascom group of businesses, which includes construction and telecommunications, rose three places to number five with $9.1 billion and his son, Nassef, to fourth from tenth with $11 billion.

Nassef is chairman of Orascom Construction Industries (OCIC.CA).

Saudi Arabia's Maan al-Sanea, who last year bought a 3.1 percent stake in HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA.L) worth 3.3 billion pounds ($6.58 billion), fell three places to ninth with $8.1 billion.

Saudi Arabia's Mohammed bin Issa al-Jaber, whose interests include real estate and hotels, entered the top ten richest Arabs, while Saleh al-Rajhi, co-founder of Saudi Arabia's Al Rajhi Bank 1120.SE, dropped out.

Al Rajhi Bank is the world's largest lender by market value that complies with Islamic law, including a ban on the receipt of interest.

Alwaleed owns 3.6 percent of Citigroup through his Kingdom Holding Co 4280.SE and said in January he would invest more in the ailing U.S. bank after it wrote down billions on the subprime mortgage crisis.

Shares of Citigroup have lost about 60 percent of their value since June.

The full list of billionaires is available at (www.forbes.com/billionaires).

(Editing by Erica Billingham)

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