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Wednesday, October 9, 2019 - Kenya is among the top five countries in Africa with the highest number of billionaires according to the 2019 Africa Wealth Report.

South Africa tops the superrich list with 2,169 billionaires followed by Egypt with 932, Nigeria 531, Kenya 356 and Mauritius 196.

The report by AfrAsia Bank indicated that 73 percent of the 356 Kenyan billionaires are based in Nairobi which makes the Kenyan capital the 5th city with the highest number of wealthy individuals after Johannesburg, Cape Town, Cairo, and Lagos. 

The report further revealed that Kenyan billionaires made their fortune from manufacturing, real estate, and technology industries.

“Kenya had a difficult 2018, which saw Kenyan wealth go down by around ten percent during the year as the local stock market lost significant value.”

“However, if one looks over the long-term trend there is still quite positive with wealth growth of 64 percent over the past ten years,” the report stated.  

Investors in the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) listed companies lost Sh419 billion in paper wealth last year.

In Eastern Africa region, Kenya had the highest number of billionaires followed by Ethiopia (154), Tanzania (99), Uganda (67) and Rwanda (30).

While the report does not name the Kenyan billionaires, previous wealth reports have named the Kenyatta family, the Moi family and the late powerful Moi era minister, Nicholas Biwott, among the wealthiest in the country.

Other Kenyans thought to be billionaires include, businessmen Vimal Shah, Chris Kirubi and Manu Chandaria.

The report defines wealth as the net assets of an individual that includes all assets like property, cash, equities, and business interests less any liabilities.

The report also brings to the fore Kenya’s growing income inequality problem where a small segment of the population control over 90 % of wealth.

Latest Central Bank of Kenyan data indicates that the number of Kenyans with more than Sh100, 000 as savings in bank accounts has dropped for the first time in more than 13-years.

According to the deposit data set to be released next month, savers with more than Sh100, 000 in their bank accounts dropped from 1,583,000 in 2017 to 1,450,000 in 2018.

The Kenyan DAILY POST
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