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Russian-born billionaire with St. Kitts & Nevis passport is case study in perspicuity

Durov is best known for founding the social networking site VK and later Telegram Messenger.

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Pavel Durov.

This CBI-focus feature is sponsored and provided by The Fairway Group.

Russian-born billionaire with a St. Kitts & Nevis passport Pavel Durov is an example of a global strategy that can circumvent political and military conflict, as St. Kitts halts Russian applications for Citizenship By Investment (CBI).

Pavel Valeryevich Durov, born Oct. 10, 1984, is a Russian-born Kittitian. He is best known for founding the social network site VK and later Telegram Messenger. His net worth is estimated to be north of $17 billion and he has been a vocal advocate for freedom.

Like many strategies on the stock market, some moves always appear brilliant in hindsight when they may have been, at best, merely fortuitous.

So, it can be argued that the purchase of a St. Kitts and Nevis passport (judged the best passport in the world) may have been a lucky accident. However, everything points away from that conclusion.

It is clear that Durov is intentional, as well as brilliant. It is also clear that he is socio-politically active, taking part in both the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the WEF Young Global Leaders program. Durov secured his original CBI passport long before the present Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The concept of CBI was first introduced to the world by St. Kitts and Nevis in 1984. In exchange for investing in the country, applicants could receive a St. Kitts & Nevis passport if they were successful in passing the due diligence scrutiny of the government.

Currently, holders of the passport can travel to more than160 countries and territories without worrying about the inconvenience of having to apply for a visa months before travel, possibly sending their passport away to have it stamped without having a guarantee that the visa would get arrive in time – before the intended travel date.

So, even if we agree that we cannot attribute the purchase of the St. Kitts and Nevis passport to Durov’s perspicacity, we can certainly admire his perspicuity in choosing the best and having a “Plan B” with a safe-island approach before it was actually needed.

St. Kitts and Nevis has now joined others in imposing sanctions on Russia – including ceasing all applications for citizenship by Russians. There is a critical lesson to be learned here. It is impossible to purchase fire insurance while your house is on fire. The time to purchase fire insurance is when there is no indication that your house will ever burn down. For Africans of high and ultra-high net worth and, indeed, for all who desire safety and flexibility for themselves and their families, this is a wakeup call.

The time to apply for a St. Kitts and Nevis passport is now.

The Fairway Group has concierge services offering more than just a second passport for as little as $285,000, all-in, for investing in a boutique hotel in St. Kitts. The projected returns are “up to 8 percent per annum.” The successful applicant is also able to sell their shares after seven years and the new purchaser has the right to apply for second citizenship as long as the shares sell for the current price of a CBI share or more. This offers an elegant and effective exit strategy, since the original investor retains their passport for life, along with all the other accruing benefits.

Although residency is not a requirement for a successful application, passport holders can visit Kitts and Nevis at any time. There is no personal income tax in St. Kitts and Nevis and also no withholding tax. Passport holders can open businesses, purchase land and participate everyday life of Kittitians. Shares in The Fairway Group project also provide a residential address that can used to establish an independent financial profile and satisfy Common Reporting Standards.

Avoiding conflict and navigating to safety is no longer the privilege of the ultra-rich. Instead, it is the responsibility and domain of anyone – even of modest means – seeking protection for their family in times of uncertainty and chaos.

The Fairway Group

The Fairway Group is a Real Estate Development Company offering Citizenship By Investment application services on the island of St Kitts in the West Indies.

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Kanye West faces new hurdle in business and personal life as Australian visa denial looms

The potential denial of a visa may be the latest in a long list of repercussions facing Kanye West.

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Ye
Kanye West, now formerly known as Ye.

African-American multi-industry creative, Kanye West, who is now formerly known as Ye, may face a new hurdle in his business and personal life as he may be denied entry into Australia.

The African-American rapper-turned-mogul had reportedly planned to meet the family of his new partner, Melbourne native Bianca Censori, but his anti-Semitic comments in October may prevent him from entering the country.

The news of a potential ban was confirmed by Australian Minister for Education Jason Clare, who stated that individuals who have made similar comments have been denied visas in the past and that Ye will have to go through the same process and answer the same questions.

“People like that who’ve applied for visas to get into Australia in the past have been rejected,” Clare said. “I expect that if he does apply, he would have to go through the same process and answer the same questions that they did.” 

Anti-Defamation Commission Chairman Dvir Abramovich and opposition leader Peter Dutton have joined in calling for Kanye West to be banned from entering Australia due to his “appalling” comments.

The backlash from Ye’s anti-Semitic remarks (Kanye West) has already had a significant impact on his business ventures and wealth. In October, he lost all of his partnerships through his brand Yeezy with companies such as Adidas and Balenciaga.

The termination of the Adidas partnership, which began in 2013, had a substantial impact on Ye’s net worth. Forbes reported that the termination of the deal led to a decline of more than $1.6 billion, taking Ye’s net worth from $2 billion to $400 million.

The cancellation of the partnership that grew the Yeezy line into a brand that accounted for up to €1.5 billion ($1.47 billion) of Adidas’ total sales over the last decade is expected to cost the German behemoth up to €250 million ($247 million) in earnings.

The aftermath of Ye’s anti-Semitic comments has been negative for his wealth and ranking as one of the richest Black individuals in the US and one of the richest businessmen globally.

The potential denial of a visa to enter Australia may be the latest in a long list of repercussions facing Ye because of his anti-Semitic comments. 

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James Mwangi’s Equity Group to receive $4.1 million for acquisition of Spire Bank

Equity Group is the largest financial services conglomerate in East Africa.

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James Mwangi.

Equity Group Holdings, the Kenyan financial services giant led by James Mwangi, is set to receive millions of dollars from Mwalimu Sacco’s acquisition of financially distressed Spire Bank, as the teachers-backed lender agreed to pay Equity Group Ksh510 million ($4.1 million).

The deal is structured as an asset purchase transaction, backed by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), and will see Equity Group assume control over the assets and liabilities of the troubled bank.

The $4.1-million payment by Mwalimu Sacco to Equity represents the difference between the assets and liabilities of Spire Bank, implying that the bank holds zero value and the teachers have lost millions of dollars after purchasing a majority stake in 2014.

Mwalimu Sacco CEO Kenneth Odhiambo said the key consideration was to stop the bleeding and preserve Sacco’s bottomline for its members.

Equity Group will settle all redundancy costs for the more than 100 employees who will lose their jobs following the deal. The bank’s non-performing loans stand at Ksh2.63 billion ($21.1 million), and Equity’s immediate task will be to step up collections and recoveries.

The process of exiting Spire Bank was not as seamless as the initial acquisition, with Mwalimu Sacco citing the bank’s decline as beginning after the withdrawal of Naushad Merali’s deposits worth Ksh1.7 billion ($13.7 million), which represented one-fifth of the bank’s total deposits. 

The takeover of the troubled Spire Bank may present additional challenges and opportunities for Equity Group, which under the leadership of Kenyan businessman, Mwangi reported profits in excess of $280 million in the first nine months of 2022.

As of today, Equity Group shares on the Nairobi Securities Exchange are trading at Ksh44.95 ($0.361) per share, a 0.99 percent decrease from their closing price on Fri., Jan. 27.

This values the company at Ksh170 billion ($1.36 billion) and Mwangi’s 3.38-percent stake at Ksh5.74 billion ($46.1 million).

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Nigerian billionaire Abdul Samad Rabiu’s food conglomerate achieves milestone with $195-million profit

Rabiu and his son, Isyaku Naziru Rabiu, own 99.8 percent of BUA Foods.

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Abdul Samad Rabiu
Abdul Samad Rabiu. ©Billionaires.Africa

BUA Foods Plc, a leading food conglomerate majority owned by Africa’s fourth-richest man Nigerian billionaire Abdul Samad Rabiu, has achieved a milestone in its financial performance as it reported record-high earnings at the end of its 2022 fiscal year.

With a profit surge surpassing N90 billion ($195 million), the company’s latest earnings report highlights its impressive growth and financial strength. The Abdul Samad Rabiu-led food conglomerate has reported a record high in its financial performance, with its profit for the year ending Dec. 31, 2022, surging by a staggering 30 percent.

The unaudited financial statements reveal that the group’s earnings rose from N69.77 billion ($151.5 million) in 2021 to N90.4 billion ($196.3 million) at the end of 2022, driven by an increase in revenue from its diverse product portfolio of sugar, pasta, bakery flour, and wheat bran.

The remarkable growth reflects the company’s ability to continuously expand its offerings and maximize profitability in a competitive market.

BUA Foods’ revenue surged from N333.37 billion ($723.8 million) to N417.82 billion ($907.1 million) due to increased sales of non-fortified sugar N79.15 billion ($171.8 million) to N144.29 billion ($313.2 million) and other food items such as sugar molasses, bakery flour, pasta, and wheat bran.

The increase in consumer demand for food items, including stockpiling, resulted in higher prices and a corresponding boost in revenue for the group.

The robust performance led to an increase in retained earnings and shareholder equity from N192.66 billion ($418.26 million) and N200.7 billion ($435.7 million) in 2021 to N237.15 billion ($514.86 million) and N245.21 billion ($532.35 million) in 2022.

The outstanding financial performance is expected to result in a substantial increase in dividend earnings for Rabiu and his son, Isyaku Naziru Rabiu, with their 99.8-percent ownership in the consolidated food conglomerate.

This will be a marked improvement from the N62.9 billion ($151.6 million) that they received in dividends last year.

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