Sunday, May 16, 2010

Buffett and the Prince

After losing billions on U.S. stocks beginning in 2000, Alwaleed Bin Talal says he may become richer than the Oracle of Omaha. His strategy: holding an IPO for his luxury hotels and building the world’s tallest tower in his homeland.

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal sits under an almost full moon near a campfire at his rustic retreat in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He’s surrounded by a zoo with zebras and giraffes, an artificial lake and a lodge that has an indoor pool, saunas and steam rooms. Three hooded falcons are perched on stands in front of him.
Five young women, dressed in black miniskirts and jackets and orange knee-high boots that match their nail polish, serve clove-and-cardamom tea to Alwaleed and his entourage, which includes his personal physician.
On this evening in late March, the prince perks up in his easy chair as a newscast on a large-screen television behind the campfire reports on a rally in global hotel stocks -- a sign of hope for the billionaire investor who’s trying to revive his slumping fortune, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its June issue.

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