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Saudi Prince Alwaleed to donate US $32bn fortune

Crystal Chesters, July 2nd, 2015

Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on Wednesday pledged to donate his entire US $32 billion fortune to philanthropy, Arabian Business reported.

Alwaleed’s Kingdom Holding company (KHC) has enjoyed substantial success investing in hotel real estate and management firms serving the uppermost market tiers, particularly with the establishment of Kingdom Hotel Investments (KHI).

Current investments include stakes and holdings in Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Fairmont Raffles Holding Intl., Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts, New York’s The Plaza hotel, London’s Savoy Hotel, Paris’ Four Seasons George V Hotel,

Commenting on the donation on Wednesday in Riyadh, the prince told reporters: "It is a commitment without boundaries. A commitment to all mankind.

"The donation will be allocated according to a well devised plan throughout the coming years.

"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."

He said there was no time limit, adding: "This is an open situation. 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 prince said this decision was "a big incentive for me to make more profits".

He added the Alwaleed Foundation would be the recipient of the funds.

Shares in Kingdom Holding fell 1% in thin trade after its chairman made the announcement.

Alwaleed was surrounded by this two children Prince Khaled and Princess Reem as he made the announcement. He said both were supportive of his decision.

He added: "What I am doing today is institutionalising the process. After my death my son will become the president of the board of trustees, and my daughter vice president. This will make it very clear how this is operated."

He stressed that no shares in Kingdom Holding were being sold and that he would continue to run the company as before.

He said all his wealth would still be in full control, and that he was not making this decision for health reasons.

"I am doing this now because I feel great and am in good shape. This is, you could say, a living will that I am making today."

He said that the Bill and Melinda Foundation was a role model for philanthropy.

Aside from hotels, Alwaleed’s investments through Kingdom Holding Company (KHC) include stakes and holdings in American lender Citigroup, Canary Wharf London developer Songbird Estates, Jeddah Economic Company (which is developing the 1km tower in Jeddah to the tallest in the world), Saudi carrier Flynas, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, Disneyland Paris and Twitter.

KHC has also previously held stakes in household names, including Amazon, AOL / Time Warner, Apple, Coca-Cola, Compaq, eBay, Ford, Hewlett-Packard, McDonald's, Motorola Mobility, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble and Saks Incorporated.

Last year, Prince Alwaleed topped the 2014 Arabian Business Rich List with a personal fortune of US $28.1 billion.