Home » Botswana tycoon Farouk Ismail faces $3-million loss from Choppies stake

Botswana tycoon Farouk Ismail faces $3-million loss from Choppies stake

by Yusuf Abdulfatai
Farouk Ismail

Farouk Ismail, one of Botswana’s most affluent businessmen, has suffered a notable setback in less than a month as the market value of his stake in the renowned retail conglomerate, Choppies Enterprises, continues its sharp decline, adding to his wealth losses since the start of the year

According to data tracked by Billionaires.Africa, the market value of Ismail’s holdings in Choppies Enterprises has taken a sharp hit, plummeting by BWP 41.13 million ($2.99 million) since Aug. 16. This compounds the significant losses that Farouk has endured this year, owing to the continuous slide in the market value of Choppies shares on the Botswana Stock Exchange.

Choppies Enterprises is Botswana’s largest supermarket chain and one of the biggest retailers in Africa, growing from a single store operating under the name “Wayside Supermarket” in Botswana in 1986 into a leading retailer with more than 260 stores in eight countries. It owns a centralized distribution network in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Kenya and sells leading international food brands and private-label products.

Ismail, a prominent figure among Botswana’s wealthiest individuals, holds the position of deputy chairman at Choppies Enterprises. Not only did he co-found Choppies alongside Ramachandran Ottapathu in 1986, but he also commands a significant stake in this Gaborone-based retail giant, owning 14.99 percent, equivalent to 271,691,921 shares.

Since Aug. 16, Choppies shares on the Botswana Stock Exchange have declined significantly by 20.63 percent, falling from BWP0.63 ($0.0457) on Aug. 16 to BWP0.50 ($0.036) at the time of writing, thus leading to substantial financial losses for shareholders, including Ismail, who owns a significant stake in the group.

Consequently, Choppies’ market capitalization has dipped below $50 million to BWP 651.81 billion ($47.35 million), relegating it from the roster of Botswana’s ten most valuable companies on the local bourse.

The persistent decline in Choppies’ shares has resulted in a significant decline of BWP41.13 million ($2.99 million) in the market value of Ismail’s stake in the retailer in a span of 23 days, with his shares declining from BWP199.30 million ($14.78 million) on August 16 to BWP158.18 million ($11.49 million) at the time of writing.

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