Thailand’s King Bhumibol remains the world’s richest royal for the third year in a row, despite his country’s riots and turmoil. Royal assets are held under Thailand’s Crown Property Bureau, which benefited from stock market and real estate gains in 2009. As a result, his fortune remains stable at $30 billion, at least for now. The rioting that broke out in March, led by protesters demanding new elections, may irreparably damage the country’s tourism and investment markets.
Only two rulers saw an increase in their fortunes this year. Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah invigorated the economy with his spending plan; the country is projected to record 4% growth this year. His fortune is up $1 billion to $18 billion, moving him up a notch to No. 3 on the list.
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