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Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris says President Vladimir Putin ‘another Hitler in the making’

This is the latest comment by the Egyptian billionaire on the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

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Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris.

In a recent comment on the global uncertainty and looming food crisis sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris dubbed Russia’s President Vladimir Putin “another Hitler in the making.”

The billionaire businessman made this remark while expressing his thoughts on Putin and his country’s invasion of Ukraine in a recent interview with the U.S. cable business news channel, CNBC.

This is the latest comment on the Ukraine crisis by the Egyptian billionaire, who has proposed a number of policies that the Egyptian government should implement to offset rising oil and wheat prices caused by supply concerns and production disruptions arising from the Russia-Ukraine war.

The war has already ran for four months, killing thousands of civilians and displacing millions of Ukrainians. Several Ukrainian cities have been destroyed completely.

When asked if he expects civil unrest to ensue in Egypt as a result of food shortages resulting from the war, Sawiris, chairman and CEO of Orascom Investment Holding, said no, arguing that Egyptians will recognize that the crisis is caused by Putin as opposed to their own government.

“I don’t think so,” Sawiris said Wednesday. “Because people understand that this crisis is not of our own making.” I mean, it’s the making of a crazy man that woke up one day and decided to invade a peaceful country with no warning.”

In response to French President Emmanuel Macron’s remarks that Putin must not be humiliated and that the door to improved diplomatic relations should be kept open, Sawiris said: “No one should care about his feelings, and we should be winning this war, because it’s another Hitler in the making.”

Food crisis raises fears of civil unrest in Egypt

Russia’s military operation has elicited strong reactions and harsh comments from billionaires, industry titans, policymakers, and politicians from all walks of life.

The impact of the onslaught of economic sanctions on Russia, combined with the direct disruption of the war, has weighed heavily on businesses, living standards, and international affairs.

Russian forces now occupy approximately 20 percent of Ukraine, as bloody fighting rages in the eastern Donbas region, which the Kremlin has described as an “unconditional priority.”

With 80 percent of Egypt’s wheat imports traditionally coming from Ukraine and Russia, the Egyptian government has taken precautionary measures to prevent an uprising as the current economic crisis pushes up food prices in a country that has lived for years with austerity measures and a soaring cost of living.

Egypt recently requested a third IMF loan in six years, despite the fact that one-third of the population lives in poverty. According to a risk consultancy report, rising fuel and food prices are set to stoke civil unrest in developing middle-income countries, with Egypt and Tunisia among the hardest hit.

The report adds to what international organizations, including the World Bank, have stated — rising food prices could spark social unrest throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

Rising food prices were a major factor in the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings.

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Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote gains $100 million in June

The $100-million increase in his net worth in June follows a $300-million decline in May.

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Aliko Dangote.

Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote saw his net worth rise by $100 million in June despite the mixed performance of his publicly traded companies, as investors reduced their positions in shares that had delivered impressive year-to-date growth due to profit and valuation concerns.

According to data from the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Dangote’s net worth increased by $100 million between the start of business on June 1 and the end of business on June 30, rising from $20.3 billion to $20.4 billion.

The $100-million increase in his net worth in June follows a $300-million decline in May, when investors sold down shares in his flagship company Dangote Cement as part of a move to preserve wealth after the cement maker’s stock price surged to an all-time high of N300 ($0.72) per share on May 19.

The increase in his net worth brings his year-to-date wealth gains to $1.32 billion, making him one of the few billionaires in the world who have been able to record impressive gains in their fortunes despite recent stock market declines.

Apart from the multimillion-dollar increase in his net worth in June, the Nigerian billionaire, who recently launched the continent’s largest granulated urea fertilizer complex, received a total dividend of $725.2 million this year from his publicly traded businesses, which is significantly more than the $639.5 million he received last year.

Through his manufacturing conglomerate Dangote Industries Limited, Dangote opened an application nearly four days ago to raise up to N300 billion ($723 million) in medium-term debt funding from Nigerian investors to fund the completion of his $19-billion integrated refinery and petrochemical complex, Dangote Oil Refinery.

The refinery’s pipeline infrastructure, when completed in the first half of 2023, will process 540,000 barrels of Nigerian crude per day in the first phase of operation, increasing to 650,000 barrels per day later.

The refinery will also produce 65 million liters of premium motor spirits (petrol), 15 million liters of diesel, and 3 billion standard cubic feet of gas per day.

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Egypt’s richest man Nassef Sawiris loses $600 million in June after gaining $1.25 billion in May

His fortune is derived from a 38.8-percent stake in Netherlands-based OCI N.V. and a six-percent stake in German sportswear behemoth Adidas.

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Egypt's richest man Nassef Sawiris.

After reporting a whopping $1.25-billion increase in his net worth in May, Egypt’s richest man Nassef Sawiris saw his fortune plummet by $600 million in June as the market value of his investment portfolio fell by double digits, mirroring the drop in EU stocks over the month.

Sawiris, a leading Egyptian businessman and one of Africa’s richest billionaires, serves on the boards of Adidas, a leading sportswear manufacturer, and OCI N.V., a global manufacturer and distributor of nitrogen products.

The majority of his fortune is derived from a 38.8-percent stake in Netherlands-based OCI N.V. and a six-percent stake in German sportswear behemoth Adidas, which is valued at $2.11 billion at the time of writing this report.

According to data from the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Sawiris had a net worth of $7.45 billion at the start of business on June 1, but his net worth dropped to $6.85 billion at the end of business on June 30 due to a decline in the share prices of OCI N.V. and Adidas.

The $600-million decline in his net worth in June follows a drop in EU equities as global markets face immense pressure, with aggressive monetary tightening by the U.S. Federal Reserve and other major central banks fueling fears of an impending economic downturn.

Despite the recent loss, the year-to-date change in Sawiris’ net worth remains positive, with the businessman’s fortune rising by more than $350 million this year, from $6.5 billion at the start of business in January to $6.85 billion at the time of writing.

The increase in his net worth year-to-date can be linked to his stake in OCI N.V., which enjoyed an increase in its valuation after the group reported a 246-percent increase in net income in the first quarter of 2022, from $102 million in the first quarter of 2021 to $354 million, driven by a 108-percent rise in revenue above $2.3 billion due to higher volumes and selling prices.

The group revealed that its outlook remains positive until at least 2024, providing strong support for nitrogen prices to remain above historical averages.

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Ghanaian tycoon Daniel McKorley’s McDan Group to donate land to students for soya bean cultivation

McKorley is a well-known businessman and the founder and CEO of the McDan Group.

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Ghanaian tycoon Daniel McKorley.

Ghanaian tycoon Daniel McKorley has announced plans to donate three to five acres of land to students for soya bean cultivation as part of the efforts to increase food sufficiency in Ghana, as food prices continue to rise due to supply constraints exacerbated by the war in Ukraine.

According to GhanaWeb, the leading business mogul announced the decision at the third edition of the McDanYouthConnect series of events, explaining that the move is part of a concerted effort to improve agriculture and promote food sufficiency in the country. He added that students will be given the opportunity to cultivate one or two products and create value for the nation.

His decision, which was applauded by all dignitaries and persons who attended the event, resulted in the release of 100 acres of land for the block farming project.

McKorley went on to advise students to continue engaging with the “right” people to increase their knowledge base, to network, and to ask for help when trying out something new, as such an attitude in life will allow them to unlock their future potential and grow.

McKorley is a well-known businessman and the founder and CEO of the McDan Group of Companies, an Accra-based transportation and logistics group with three divisions: McDan Shipping, McDan Aviation, and McDan Logistics.

Aside from its core operations in Ghana, the group maintains active operations and an extensive presence in West African countries such as Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Equatorial Guinea through its broad interests in shipping, logistics, and aviation.

McDan Group, led by McKorley, opened its first private jet terminal at an international airport in Accra, Ghana’s capital city, earlier this year, with three planes and one helicopter operating under the McDan Aviation brand.

The jet terminal will serve high-end clients seeking to maximize luxury clients and corporate executives seeking a quick and efficient commute for business purposes.

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