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Egyptian-American tycoon Ahmed Bahjat laid to rest in Egypt

The founder of Egypt’s Bahgat Group passed away after a protracted battle with an unspecified illness.

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Egyptian-American tycoon Ahmed Bahjat.

Egyptian-American mogul Ahmed Bahjat has been laid to rest in his ancestral home of Egypt following a protracted battle with an unspecified illness. 

Bahjat was buried on May 28, the same day his body arrived home from the United States. Funeral prayers were held for the businessman in the Al-Mosheer Tantawy Mosque in the Fifth Settlement District. 

Gulf News recently quoted his family as saying that he passed away while on a medical trip in the United States. He died on May 21 at the age of 70. 

According to his family, the late tycoon loved his homeland and focused on investments to “serve the nation and its people.”

Bahjat is the founder of Egypt’s Bahgat Group. The conglomerate has interests in media, real estate, electronics and household appliance manufacturing, furniture, and medical equipment. It has a footprint throughout the wider Middle East.

Significant projects

Dreamland: Bahjat is credited with building the first gated residence in Egypt, named Dreamland, in the suburban October 6 City near the Egyptian capital of Cairo. It is a private urban development located 17 kilometers west of the city, covering about 2,000 acres of land, not far from the Pyramids of Giza.

Dream Park: Bahjat built Dream Park, the largest amusement park in the Middle East.

Dream TV: Bahjat is the founder of Dream TV (Channel I &II), Egypt’s first private satellite TV station. He was the first to respond to the Egyptian government’s initiative to open private satellite TV to select producers based in a designated “free zone” in Media Production City, a media and information complex near Cairo.

After moving to the United States to further his studies, Bahjat invented and produced electronic compasses that help specify prayer times for Muslims, guiding them wherever they are to know Qibla (the direction toward Mecca). He also founded companies that manufactured electronic appliances at affordable rates.

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Led by Egyptian Khamis family, Oriental Weavers set to withdraw investments from China

Oriental Weavers operates under the leadership of Egyptian businesswoman Yasmine Mohamed Farid Khamis.

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Yasmine Mohamed Farid Khamis.

The board of directors of Oriental Weavers has decided to withdraw its investments in China as the management implements measures to maximize earnings and revenues in line with its strategic growth roadmap. 

Operating under the leadership of Egyptian businesswoman Yasmine Mohamed Farid Khamis and other family members of the late Mohammed Farid Khamis, Oriental Weavers is a leading carpet manufacturer and distributor with active operations in about 150 countries worldwide.

According to the plan to withdraw its investments from China, the company declared that it will accept already made offers to buy out its stake in Oriental Weavers China, and further information will be released after the deal has been completed.

Through this decision, the company will sell its Chinese manufacturing facilities, Oriental Weavers (Tianjin) Company Limited (Oriental Weavers China), to local investors.

The decision to withdraw its investments in Mainland China was made almost eight months after the company’s board gave the management permission to study the situation and decide whether to sell or liquidate Oriental Weavers China.

Oriental Weavers’ exit from China will be crucial to lowering operating costs as it seeks to cut ties with the Asian economy as a result of brewing regulatory tensions in China and escalating trade tensions between Washington and Beijing.

According to Yasmine Al-Gohary, Oriental Weavers’ investor relations manager, the decision to withdraw its investments from China can be attributed to the high operating costs in the country, particularly following the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

According to Al-Gohary, the operations in China, which make up just 0.3 percent of the group’s total assets and only contribute one percent of its revenue, were also impacted by the frequent factory closures and shortening of working hours.

Al-Gohary added that the business also intended to invest $10 million this year to place itself on the path of growth and increase its production capacity to keep up with market demand.

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Tunisian mogul Aziz Mebarek-led AfricInvest leads $8.2-million investment in fintech player, Bizao

Africinvest has raised more than $1.9 billion and invested in over 170 businesses in 25 African countries since its inception.

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Aziz Mebarek.

Bizao, a fintech company with active operations in more than 10 African countries, has received $8.2 million (€8 million) in a Series-A funding round led by AfricInvest, as it prepares to expand its operations in North Africa.

AfricInvest is a leading investment firm co-founded by multimillionaire Tunisian businessmen Aziz Mebarek and Ziad Oueslati, which focuses on long-term growth and business improvements rather than short-term developments.

The $8.2-million capital injection secured by Bizao, a Paris-based payment services provider, will be used to accelerate operations throughout the continent and invest in developing new products and services.

“This round of financing will enable us to design new product lines for high-potential vertically integrated organizations, expand in new markets, and grow the team across all our offices,” Bizao Founder and CEO Aurelien Duval-Delort said.

The news comes not long after AfricInvest closed its €110-million ($112 million) pan-African venture fund in collaboration with the French venture capital firm Cathay Innovation.

The $112-million Cathay AfricInvest Innovation Fund (will be used to support startups and help them break even faster and further innovate to improve the lives of Africans.

The initial check size from the fund will range from €1 million ($1.02 million) to €10 million ($10.2 million) for growth-stage startups and up to €1 million ($1.02 million) for early-stage startups in a variety of industries, including fintech, mobility, health tech, edtech, AI, digital content, and ag-tech, according to executives at the investment firm.

Founded in 1994 by Mebarek and Oueslati as a long-term private equity firm, Africinvest has raised more than $1.9 billion and invested in over 170 businesses in 25 African countries since its inception.

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These are the four African billionaires whose net worth has increased since start of 2022

Among them are Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote and Egypt’s wealthiest man Nassef Sawiris.

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Nassef Sawiris.

Only four of the 21 African businessmen on our radar with a net worth of $1 billion or more have seen their fortunes improve since the beginning of the year.

Among them are Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote and Egypt’s wealthiest man Nassef Sawiris.

The recent surge in the shares of companies in their portfolios has resulted in a combined wealth increase of nearly $2 billion for these four African billionaires since the start of the year.

According to data compiled by Billionaires.Africa, this is how they stand at the moment.

#1 Aliko Dangote

Net worth: $19.8 billion

Year-to-date wealth gains: $670 million

Nationality: Nigerian

Aliko Dangote, the chairman of Dangote Industries Limited, Africa’s most diversified manufacturing conglomerate, has seen his net worth rise by more than $670 million this year, from $19.1 billion at the start of the year to $19.8 billion at the time of writing.

The increase in his net worth can be attributed to a bump in the market value of his 86-percent stake in Dangote Cement Plc, which accounts for $9.06 billion of his $19.8-billion fortune.

Since the year began, shares in Dangote Cement, Africa’s largest cement manufacturer, have increased from N257 ($0.614) per share to N265 ($0.633) per share.

Earlier this week, the company’s share price plummeted to N241 ($0.57) per share, resulting in a staggering $863-million loss for the billionaire in a single day.

However, renewed buying interest among investors on Wednesday saw the billionaire recoup part of the wealth loss and net a year-to-date wealth gain of $670 million.

#2 Nassef Sawiris

Net worth: $7.16 billion

Year-to-date wealth gains: $670 million

Nationality: Egyptian

Egypt’s richest man Nassef Sawiris, a scion of Egypt’s wealthiest family, is one of the four African billionaires who have seen significant increases in their net worth since the beginning of the year.

The leading billionaire, who serves on the boards of Adidas and OCI N.V., a global nitrogen product manufacturer and distributor, has seen his net worth rise by $659 million since the beginning of this year, from $6.5 billion to $7.16 billion at the time of writing this report.

The majority of his fortune stems from his 38.8-percent stake in the Netherlands-based OCI N.V., which is worth $2.52 billion, and his six-percent stake in Adidas, which is worth $2.13 billion.

#3 Abdul Samad Rabiu

Net worth: $5.8 billion

Year-to-date wealth gains: $400 million

Nationality: Nigerian

Thanks to the listing of BUA Foods Plc, Abdul Samad Rabiu, the founder of BUA Group, one of Africa’s fastest-growing conglomerates, has seen positive wealth gains this year.

The market value of his stake in his newly consolidated food conglomerate, which went public on Jan. 5, offset the decline in the market value of his stake in his cement business, BUA Cement Plc, as its share price fell from N71.95 ($0.17) to N58.8 ($0.14) at the time of writing this report.

His net worth has risen by $400 million since the start of the year, from $5.4 billion to $5.8 billion.

#4 Nicky Oppenheimer

Net worth: $8.20 billion

Year-to-date wealth gains: $250 million

Nationality: South African

South Africa’s second-richest man Nicky Oppenheimer, who previously ran the diamond mining firm DeBeers before selling it to Anglo-American a decade ago, has seen his wealth rise by $250 million this year, from $7.95 billion to $8.2 billion, thanks to the revaluation of his private equity investments.

Oppenheimer, who is Africa’s third-richest man and South Africa’s second-wealthiest man, invests the majority of his net worth in private equity in Africa, Asia, the United States, and Europe through London-based Stockdale Street and Johannesburg-based Tana Africa Capital.

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