Home » Saudi doctor overtakes South African billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong as world’s second-richest doctor

Saudi doctor overtakes South African billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong as world’s second-richest doctor

Saudi doctor Sulaiman Al Habib has now become the world's second-richest doctor, surpassing South African billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong

by Omokolade Ajayi
Patrick Soon-Shiong

In a notable change in the global wealth rankings, reflecting the dynamic nature of the global economy and the fluctuating fortunes of key figures in the medical and business fields, Saudi doctor Sulaiman Al Habib has now become the world’s second-richest doctor, surpassing South African-born billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong.

This significant development is attributed to the surge in Al Habib’s net worth, reaching $11.9 billion, propelled by the stellar performance of his 40-percent stake in Al Habib Medical Services Group, a leading private healthcare provider in the Middle East.

While Sulaiman Al Habib now holds the position of the world’s second-richest doctor, U.S. billionaire Thomas Frist, co-founder of HCA Healthcare Inc., maintains his status as the world’s richest medical doctor with a net worth of $25.5 billion. 

Al Habib’s medical empire: 22 facilities, 22 pharmacies, and a $28-billion valuation

Al Habib’s journey to becoming the world’s second-richest doctor is intertwined with the remarkable growth of Al Habib Medical Services Group. With 10 hospitals and medical centers under development, Al Habib also invests in commercial real estate.

His 40-percent stake in the healthcare giant has increased by double-digits in recent times, the group’s shares, which dipped to a one-year low in October, have witnessed a 30-percent upswing, propelling the group’s market capitalization beyond $28 billion.

The 70-year-old billionaire, who founded the Al Habib Medical Services Group in 1993 with a single clinic, has successfully expanded the company to operate 22 medical facilities and 22 pharmacies across Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain.

Soon-Shiong’s ImmunityBio stake dips, cash holdings rise

On the flip side, Soon-Shiong, a renowned figure in the medical field and a key player in the development of the cancer treatment Abraxane, has faced a financial setback. His net worth has dwindled from $10.5 billion at the start of the year to $9.61 billion, marking a decline of $846 million in 2024.

Soon-Shiong’s financial woes are primarily attributed to sustained sell-offs affecting the market value of his 76-percent stake in ImmunityBio, a late-stage immunotherapy company focusing on advanced therapies and vaccines.

The market value of his stake in ImmunityBio has plummeted by $1.04 billion this month alone, falling from $2.79 billion on Jan. 8 to $1.75 billion. Despite the setback, Soon-Shiong’s cash holdings have seen a slight increase from $7.7 billion to $7.8 billion.

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