Home » Kenya’s richest banker James Mwangi faces $11.7-million loss in Equity Group investment

Kenya’s richest banker James Mwangi faces $11.7-million loss in Equity Group investment

by Mfonobong Nsehe
James Mwangi

Kenya’s leading banker and CEO of Equity Group James Mwangi has experienced a substantial decrease in his net worth since the beginning of the year.

The decline is primarily attributed to the market value downturn of his stake in Equity Group, one of the country’s largest financial services conglomerates.

According to data compiled by Billionaires.Africa, Mwangi’s stake in Equity Group has seen a decline of Ksh1.62 billion ($11.69 million) since the start of the year.

This slump has caused the market value of his stake to plummet from Ksh11.37 billion ($81.95 million) to Ksh9.75 billion ($70.26 million) at present.

The dip in Mwangi’s net worth can be linked to the sustained decline in the shares of Equity Group on the Nairobi Securities Exchange, despite the company reporting a robust financial performance in the first quarter of 2023.

Equity Group’s share price has fallen by over 14 percent since Jan. 1, dropping from Ksh44.5 ($0.321) to Ksh38.15 ($0.275) as of the time of this report.

Despite this recent decline, the group remains the second most valuable stock on the Nairobi Securities Exchange, with a market capitalization exceeding $1 billion.

Equity Group Holdings, headquartered in Nairobi, operates as a leading financial services conglomerate in Kenya and has subsidiaries in Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Mwangi, a prominent shareholder with a 3.38-percent stake in the Kenyan lender, has played a pivotal role in Equity Group’s expansion, propelling it to become the largest financial services group in East and Central Africa.

Under Mwangi’s leadership, Equity Group witnessed an eight-percent increase in profit during the first quarter of 2023. The bank’s profit rose from Ksh11.9 billion ($86.6 million) in the same period last year to Ksh12.8 billion ($93.2 billion) this year.

This growth was primarily driven by a remarkable 57-percent surge in nonfunded income, which soared from Ksh11.5 billion ($83.7 million) to Ksh18 billion ($131 million). Nonfunded income accounted for 45 percent of the total income, highlighting the company’s improved earnings quality.

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