Zimbabwe currency change halves Masiyiwa fortune


Also worth noting is that a spokesperson for Rabiu told Forbes that the tycoon owns 98% of the new company, despite the fact that the Nigerian Stock Exchange requires 20% of a company’s shares be floated to the public.

Okon Onuntuei, the head of strategy and research at the Nigerian Stock Exchange, says that companies like BUA Cement can get a waiver with a promise to sell down shares over time.  A spokesman for Rabiu confirms the company obtained such a waiver. But the stock exchange says that BUA Cement is currently “below listing standards.”

The year’s biggest gainer is Nassef Sawiris, worthUS$8 billion—up from US$6.3 billion last year. He moves up to number two richest for the first time.

Sawiris’ most valuable asset is a 5.7% stake in shoemaker Adidas worth a bit more than US$4 billion. The increase in Adidas’ share price alone added nearly US$1.5 billion to his fortune since January 2019.

Sawiris also owns a significant stake in fertilizer producer OCI N.V. Last year Sawiris and US investor Wes Edens purchased the remaining stake they didn’t already own in UK Premier League team Aston Villa Football Club.

Altogether the continent’s billionaires are worth a combined US$73.4 billion, up from US$68.7 billion a year ago, mostly due to higher stock prices. Of these tycoons, eight saw their fortunes rise or fall by at least US$700 million.

For the ninth year in a row, Aliko Dangote of Nigeria is the richest person in Africa, worth an estimated US$10.1 billion, down from US$10.3 billion a year ago amid a slightly lower stock price for his Dangote Cement, his largest holding.

That’s exactly how much he was worth the first year he ranked on Africa’s richest in 2011, but he’s worth less than half what he was in 2014.

One fortune that didn’t change much but could plummet in the next year is that belonging to one of just two women billionaires in Africa: Isabel dos Santos, the eldest daughter of Angola’s former president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

In late December an Angolan court issued an order to freeze the assets that Isabel dos Santos and her husband, Sindika Dokolo, own in Angola. Those include her stake in telecom firm Unitel and stakes in two Angolan banks; Forbes estimates those assets are worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

A statement issued by Isabel dos Santos said the judgment contained “a number of untruths” and that she would fight the decision “by using all the instruments of Angolan and international law at my disposal”.

For now Forbes estimates her fortune has declined US$100 million to an estimated US$2.2 billion, but depending on the outcome of a pending legal case, she could fall much lower in the ranks.

Of Africa’s 54 nations, only 8 countries have billionaires: Egypt and South Africa are tied with five billionaires each, followed by Nigeria with four and Morocco with two.

Forbes found one billionaire each from Algeria, Angola, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.  That’s the same as last year but a better representation than nine years ago, when only four African nations were home to ten-figure fortunes.- Forbes


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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