Home » Zimbabwe’s richest man Strive Masiyiwa loses $70 million in two weeks as shares in Econet slump

Zimbabwe’s richest man Strive Masiyiwa loses $70 million in two weeks as shares in Econet slump

by Mfonobong Nsehe

Zimbabwean billionaire Strive Masiyiwa has seen the market value of his stake in Econet Wireless Zimbabwe (Econet Zimbabwe) drop by $70 million (ZWL22.5 billion) in the past 15 days as shares in the leading telecom provider slump.

Econet Zimbabwe, the publicly-traded Zimbabwe-based telecom services provider, operates as part of the larger Econet Group, a 22-year-old diversified telecom company founded by Masiyiwa.

Masiyiwa, who established Econet Group in 1998, holds a majority 52.85-percent stake amounting to 1,368,840,391 ordinary shares in Econet Zimbabwe, the country’s largest telecom services provider.

As of press time, Dec. 22, shares in the telecom company were worth ZWL72.81 ($0.226), nine-percent lower than their opening price for the week.

In the past 15 days, profit-taking actions and portfolio-rotation activities by investors on the floor of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange caused the company’s stock to fall from a price of ZWL89.27 ($0.277) to a price of ZWL72.81 ($0.226) at the time of drafting this report.

As a result, the market value of Masiyiwa’s stake has dropped from ZWL122.2 billion ($379.5 million) on Dec. 7 to ZWL99.7 billion ($309.5 million) on Dec. 22.

This translates to a $70-million (ZWL22.5 billion) loss for the London-based Zimbabwean billionaire, who received an interim dividend of ZWL821.3 million ($2.6 million) on Dec. 16 from the company’s retained earnings.

Despite the decline in the market value of his stake, Masiyiwa remains one of Africa’s few billionaires who have seen their net worth increase by more than $1 billion since the year began.

His net worth is presently $2.3 billion, $1.1-billion higher than his net worth at the start of 2021.

Since the year began, the market value of his 52.85-percent stake in Econet Zimbabwe has risen by over $269 million thanks to a 666.8-percent bump in the share price of the telecom company.

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