Home » South Africa’s richest man has now lost over $600 million so far in 2024

South Africa’s richest man has now lost over $600 million so far in 2024

Richemont stake plunge: Catalyst behind $51.5 million daily wealth drain

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Johann Rupert

Following a remarkable 2023 that propelled his wealth beyond $12 billion, Johann Rupert, South Africa’s richest man and the second-richest man in Africa, has seen his net worth decline by over $600 million in the first 12 days of 2024, amid sustained selling pressures in the shares of the Swiss luxury goods giant, Richemont, where he owns a substantial stake.

According to data tracked by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, which monitors the wealth of the world’s most affluent individuals, Rupert’s net worth has slumped by $618 million over the past 12 days — declining from $12.4 billion on Jan. 1 to $11.8 billion on Jan. 12.

Richemont stake plunge: Catalyst behind $51.5 million daily wealth drain

Since the start of the year, his net worth has consistently dropped by an average of $51.5 million per day. This decline has pulled his wealth below the $12.4-billion mark, mainly due to the decrease in the market value of his investment portfolio, which includes a stake in Remgro, and a 25-percent stake in Reinet Investments.

The key factor behind this plunge is the recent decline in the market value of his 10.18-percent stake in Richemont, a luxury conglomerate known for brands like Cartier, Montblanc, and Van Cleef & Arpels. The stake dropped from CHF115.65 ($135.252) on Jan. 1 to CHF110.45 ($129.197).

Market turbulence shaves off $480 million from Rupert’s Richemont holdings

Over the past 10 days, Richemont’s shares, traded on the SIX Swiss Exchange, have experienced a notable 4.5-percent plunge. This pushed the group’s market cap below the $70-billion mark, with the market value of Rupert’s stake in Richemont falling below $7 billion.

According to Bloomberg data, Rupert’s Richemont holdings have declined by $480 million, falling from $8.43 billion on Jan. 1 to $7.95 billion. Furthermore, his investments in Reinet Investments and Remgro have seen decreases of $40 million and $25 million, leaving them with present values of $1.16 billion and $394 million, respectively.

Despite this recent setback, Rupert retains his status as South Africa’s richest man, surpassing fellow South African magnate Nicky Oppenheimer. With a net worth of $11.8 billion, he is the second-richest person in Africa and ranks 170th among the world’s richest individuals.

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