Shares in Sulaiman Al Habib’s eponymous company have surged 30% since hitting a one-year low in October. That’s made Al Habib — who founded the firm and holds a 40% stake — the third-richest person in the Middle East who’s not a member of a royal family, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
The stock has risen sixfold since its initial public offering in 2020, putting it in touching distance of a record high. Since the listing, the shares have outperformed the benchmark Tadawul index, which has doubled in that period.
The billionaire, who is in his early 70’s, grew the $28 billion healthcare chain from a single clinic opened in 1993 to a company that operates 22 medical facilities and 22 pharmacies across Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain. The firm has 10 hospitals and medical centers under development.
He also invests in commercial real estate through a holding company, according to Dr Sulaiman Al Habib Medical Services Group Co.’s IPO prospectus.
Al Habib got a degree in medicine and surgery from Riyadh’s King Saud University in 1977 and completed a fellowship in pediatrics at the British Royal College of Physicians in 1984. He has served as chief medical officer and head of pediatrics at two government-owned hospitals in Riyadh.
Al Habib is the fifth-wealthiest physician on the Bloomberg index, and one of few medical doctors to rank among the world’s richest people. Miriam Adelson, the widow of casino magnate Sheldon, is worth $34 billion, while Thomas Frist, co-founder of hospital network HCA Healthcare Inc., is worth $25 billion.
The Saudi tycoon has amassed one of the world’s largest health-related empires, rivaling Carl Cook and Hansjoerg Wyss, who have both built fortunes valued at more than $10 billion from selling medical devices, according to the Bloomberg index.