BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) -- Prince Al-Waleed isn't your typical super investor. Born to the founding King of Saudi Arabia, Al-Waleed's financial security was far from predicated on the need for a job. But that hasn't stopped the royal from amassing an estimated $19.4 billion fortune through his investment company, Kingdom Holding, making him the 19th richest person in the world, according to Forbes.
This week, we're taking a look at what the man dubbed the "Arabian Warren Buffett" owns right now. Here's
When it comes to stocks, the prince is known for buying large stakes in companies and holding them over the long term. That all started with the investment that made Al-Waleed a well-known figure on Wall Street -- his $550 million investment in
in the 1990s. The Citi stake remains one of the prince's larger positions to this day, despite the string of bailouts and busts over the course of the last few years.
Rough waters are hardly a new phenomenon for Citi. In fact, financial troubles were the reason for the prince's initial investment in the bank. But regardless of Citi's financial problems, the company has continually managed to stay afloat. And despite the shellacking shares have taken of late, they remain well above Prince Al-Waleed's cost basis.
With a recuperating financial sector in play right now, it's likely that the prince will continue to hang onto his shares. While Citi's shareholders took the brunt of the damage caused by the financial crisis of 2008, government bailouts gave the company the wherewithal to divest of toxic operating units and shore up the company's Tier 1 common ratio. The decision to sell off Smith Barney should give Citi a nice cash infusion while stripping its operating structure of one of its more controversial units -- no more $100 million bonuses for traders hitting the headlines.
We're likely going to see some capital appreciation in this beleaguered bank as the economy continues to improve.
made headlines this year when the company's market capitalization overtook
, making the Mac maker the most valuable tech company in the world. Although that shift in power may not have been envisioned 10 years ago, it probably didn't come as much of a surprise to Saudi Arabia's biggest investor, who purchased a 5% stake in Apple back in 1997.
Since then, Prince Al-Waleed's interests in the company have gained 5,781%, making it one of the most prescient plays in his portfolio -- and one he continues to hold today.
There's plenty of reason to continue to hold on to Apple right now too. The company's iPhone has turned into a mobile communications phenomenon (and the new iPhone 4, which launches on Thursday, already has record pre-orders), the iPad is growing at an impressive pace, and Apple's Macintosh line of computers is gaining significant market share.
Just as impressive is the service-based revenue the company is generating on the heels of its popular platforms. The iTunes store is the biggest music vendor in the U.S., with more than 10 billion songs sold in just seven years, and its App and Video offerings are similarly impressive. Likewise, the company's iAds platform for mobile advertising offers to provide better conversion rates for advertisers and new revenue streams for application developers.
With rumors floating around that a Verizon-based iPhone is finally coming to market in the fourth quarter of 2010, investors should watch this stock closely.
"I drink Pepsi; he drinks Coke," said Al-Waleed in an interview with
magazine, referring to the differences between himself and pen pal
. Buffett's stake in
is famous, while Al-Waleed's stake in
is perhaps less well-known. And while the battle for domination of the soda world goes on in commercials, the two companies actually have strikingly different businesses.
Although Main Street knows Pepsi for its soda offerings, the company's most profitable segment is actually snack foods. Pepsi diversified its businesses years ago, delving into the fast food business and since buying snack food behemoth brands such as Lay's, Doritos, and Quaker.
Still, soda continues to be the core part of the company's operations. Coca-Cola remains the worldwide leader in the beverage world, Pepsi has made some operational headway by buying out its biggest bottlers and consolidating operations. Pepsi should continue to find growth in getting its products to consumer pantries, but it'll be difficult to challenge Coke's dominance head on.
has been seeing an uptick in consumer spending, good news for investors like Price Al-Waleed, who's been a long-term owner of the store chain. While the global slowdown had an especially rough effect on Saks' discretionary sales, as affluent customers start bringing out their checkbooks once again the company should see its share price rebound in kind.
Saks stands to benefit from international growth, especially in the face of the PBOC's decision to
. That flexibility could help bring more buying power to China's growing middle class, one of the demographics that Saks is targeting through its presence in the People's Republic.
Watch the chain's international expansion in the coming year.
To see the rest of Prince Al-Waleed's U.S. plays, check out the
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Jonas Elmerraji is the editor and portfolio manager of the
Rhino Stock Report
, a free investment advisory that returned 15% in 2008. He is a contributor to numerous financial outlets, including
, and has been featured in
Investor's Business Daily