Zimbabwean billionaire Strive Masiyiwa has lost over half a billion dollars as a result of a drop in the value of his stake in Econet Wireless Zimbabwe (Econet Zimbabwe) in less than a month.
The news comes not long after a staggering $1.7-billion surge in his net worth above the $4-billion mark earlier this year.
According to data obtained by Billionaires.Africa, the market value of his stake in Econet Zimbabwe has dropped by ZWL201 billion ($624.2 million) in the past 28 days due to a sustained sell-off of shares on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE).
Masiyiwa owns a 52.85-percent equity position in Econet Zimbabwe, which is part of Econet Group, a 22-year-old diversified telecom company with operations and investments in Africa, Europe, South America, and East Asia.
Since its share price reached an an all-time high of ZWL331.72 ($1.03) on April 27, Econet Zimbabwe has seen the price of its shares drop by more than 44 percent to ZWL184.88 ($0.57415) at the time of writing this report.
The market value of Masiyiwa’s shareholding fell from ZWL454.1 billion ($1.41 billion) on April 27 to ZWL253.1 million ($785.9 million) at the time of writing this report. As a result, the leading billionaire has lost ZWL201 billion ($624.2 million) in the past 28 days.
As a result, South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe surpassed Masiyiwa to become the richest Black businessman in Southern Africa, with a net worth of $3.1 billion, while Masiyiwa’s net worth fell to $2.7 billion.
Despite recent drop in the value of its shares, Econet Zimbabwe remains the most valuable stock on the ZSE, with a market capitalization of ZWL479 billion ($1.48 billion), accounting for about 16.1 percent of the total capitalization on the bourse.
Aside from selling pressures resulting from long-term concerns about the telecom company’s revenue and earnings, changing market conditions have added another challenge to the sell-off of Econet Zimbabwe shares, as investors begin to exit stocks in the tech and telecom industries.
In an effort to place earnings on the path of sustainable growth, the leading mobile network operator earlier this month extended its national 5G network to the southern region of Zimbabwe, following the launch of the service in Bulawayo.
The new network, which was launched at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, will offer customers in select areas within the city super-fast data speeds, improved connectivity and enhanced user experience across multiple service categories and use cases, including business, entertainment and gaming, among many others.