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Saudi Arabias Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is suing business magazine Forbes over claims it underestimated his fortune by $9.6bn (£6.1bn).

Prince Alwaleed, owner of Londons Savoy hotel, said in March that he would sever ties with the publication after its annual rich list valued him at $20bn, not enough to place him in the coveted top 10.

Despite being pronounced the richest man in the Arab world, Prince Alwaleed accused Forbes of "intentional biases and inconsistencies" and insisted his real value was nearly $30bn.

He has now filed a defamation claim in Londons High Court against Forbess publisher, its editor, Randall Lane, and two of its journalists. Forbes said it stood by its story.

Forbes said that its estimate was based on its belief that the true value of Prince Alwaleeds investment company, Kingdom Holding, is much lower than its share price suggests.

The 58-year-old grandson of the founder of Saudi Arabia owns 95pc of Kingdom with the remaining 5pc floated on the Saudi Tadawul exchange. Its market capitalisation comes to $19.9bn, but Forbes used its own valuation of $10.6bn.

Forbes said it was concerned that for several years Kingdoms share price had risen sharply over the period when it collected its valuation data.

It quoted an unnamed analyst who claimed that the Tadawul is incredibly easy to manipulate, and added that Kingdom is a particularly easy target because it only has a small free float.

Forbes also quoted a former Kingdom executive who said that making plays on the exchange is the national sport because there are no casinos. Its the gambling site of the Saudis.

In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph in March, Prince Alwaleed said Forbes was "accusing me of market manipulation.

This is all wrong and a false statement. We will fight it all the way against Forbes.

He stressed that it isnt his position on the list that angers him, but rather the way it has been calculated.

I am not pursuing it because of my wealth, but because they are accusing Saudi Arabia of being manipulated because we have no casinos. This is unacceptable, he said.

Prince Alwaleed made his money by investing in global brands at a time when their share prices were depressed. Along the way he has built up significant stakes in trophy assets such as Apple, Citigroup, Disney and the Savoy Hotel in London. His portfolio spans the globe and he likes people to know it.

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