Home » South African banker Michiel Le Roux on verge of losing ‘billionaire’ status

South African banker Michiel Le Roux on verge of losing ‘billionaire’ status

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Michiel Le Roux

South African banker and Co-Founder of Capitec Bank Michiel Le Roux has seen a significant decline in his net worth, losing approximately $200 million since the start of this year.

This slump has put his “billionaire” status achieved in 2019, when his net worth exceeded $1.2 billion, at risk. Despite this setback, the 73-year-old entrepreneur remains one of Africa’s wealthiest billionaires, largely due to his 11.41-percent stake in Capitec Bank.

Seventy-three-year-old Le Roux is widely regarded as one of Africa’s richest men, primarily due to his 11.41-percent stake in Capitec Bank, which he co-founded with Jannie Mouton and Riaan Stassen in 1999.

The South African rand’s depreciation, combined with the underperformance of Le Roux’s stake in Capitec Bank, has caused his net worth to fall by $200 million this year, dropping from $1.2 billion to $1 billion.

However, despite this setback, Le Roux remains among the most affluent businessmen not only in South Africa but also in Africa as a whole. Nevertheless, if the value of Capitec shares continues to decline, Le Roux may risk losing his billionaire status.

Over the past year, Capitec Bank’s share price on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange has dropped by more than 16 percent.

This has resulted in a considerable reduction in the market capitalization of the Stellenbosch-based financial services provider and billions of dollars in market value losses for shareholders, including Le Roux.

Between January 2022 and February 2023, Le Roux’s net worth has experienced a significant decrease of more than $800 million, falling from $1.8 billion on Jan. 1 to $1 billion at the time of this report due to the decline in Capitec Bank’s share price over the past year.

Despite this decline, Le Roux received an interim dividend of R185 million ($10.2 million) on Oct. 24, adding to his total dividend earnings of $32.2 million from the bank in 2022.

The group’s board of directors approved a total dividend payout of R1.62 billion ($89.78 million), with Le Roux’s $10.2-million interim dividend being deposited into his account.

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