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Horn of Africa

Ethiopia’s wealthiest man Mohammed Al-Amoudi gains $230 million in July; net worth nears $6 billion

The increase in his net worth follows a $1-billion wealth loss in the first half of 2022.

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Mohammed Al-Amoudi.

Mohammed Al-Amoudi, one of Africa’s wealthiest billionaires, recorded a significant boost in his net worth in July. The gains followed a period of heavy losses for Al-Amoudi, who lost more than $1 billion in the first six months of 2022 as European stocks suffered across the board.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Al-Amoudi, who is Ethiopia’s richest man thanks to the market value of his industrial assets, saw his net worth surge by $230 million in July, bringing his wealth closer to $6 billion.

The $230-million increase in his net worth during the month follows the $1-billion wealth loss that he suffered in the first half of 2022, when his net worth fell from $6.71 billion at the start of the year to $5.73 billion on June 30.

According to data obtained by Billionaires.Africa, Al-Amoudi’s net worth rose in July from $5.69 billion at the start of the month to $5.92 billion at its end, as the market value of his industrial assets soared, including prestigious Swedish oil companies and companies in Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia.

During the month, the market value of his prime oil asset, Preem, one of Sweden’s largest oil refiners, increased by $130 million, from $1.26 billion to $1.39 billion.

His stake in Swedish oil and gas exploration and production firm Svenska Petroleum Exploration also surged from $700 million to $772 million.

Despite the increase in his net worth, Al-Amoudi remains one of the few African billionaires whose net worth has fallen by more than $500 million this year alongside South African billionaire Johann Rupert and Zimbabwean tech tycoon Strive Masiyiwa. 

Al-Amoudi’s net worth has dropped by $795 million since the start of the year, from $6.71 billion to $5.92 billion.

Horn of Africa

Somali tycoon Ismail Ahmed’s Zepz denies delays in $6-billion IPO

Zepz, the parent company of WorldRemit, stated that it has yet to formally announce an IPO timeline.

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Somali tycoon Ismail Ahmed.

Zepz has denied reports that its initial public offering has been delayed due to “accounting and management” issues, calling the report “speculative and factually inaccurate.”

Zepz is a leading technology startup, run by Somali tycoon Ismail Ahmed.

The news comes less than 24 hours after a Bloomberg report revealed that the company has delayed its planned IPO on the New York Stock Exchange due to internal issues such as account verification, turnover, and other accounting and management fillings required for the listing.

According to Bloomberg, sources familiar with the planned $6-billion IPO claimed that the UK-based tech startup was having difficulty checking and verifying accounts in a “timely manner.”

The sources alleged that the startup also had a complex management structure and a high turnover rate among its senior leadership, with four executives holding the CEO title and three different executives serving as the chief marketing officer in the span of a year.

Meanwhile, Zepz, the parent company of WorldRemit, the cross-border digital payments firm founded by Ahmed in 2010, disclosed that it has yet to formally announce an IPO timeline.

Under the leadership of Ahmed, Zepz operates two market-leading brands — WorldRemit and Sendwave, another cross-border payment platform authorized to send money in the United States, Canada, the UK, and the EU.

Sendwave was acquired in 2021 to expand its reach as a leading payments platform. By the end of the same year, Zepz had secured $292 million in new primary funding, giving it a $5-billion valuation as it works to disrupt the $1-trillion peer-to-peer cross-border payments market.

The recent report on the firm’s IPO comes amid operating issues in the fintech industry, which has led some firms to cut jobs to reduce costs while optimizing earnings in the face of rising operating costs.

Former Zepz CEO Breon Corcoran embarked on a cost-cutting strategy in February, announcing plans to reduce the firm’s workforce by five percent while downsizing its London office, freezing pay, and reducing the marketing budget by $40 million.

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Horn of Africa

Somali businessman Ismail Ahmed’s WorldRemit expects school reopening to boost diaspora remittances to Kenya

WorldRemit was founded by Ahmed, Richard Igoe, and Catherine Wines in 2010.

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Ismail Ahmed.

WorldRemit, a cross-border digital payments firm led by London-based Somali businessman Ismail Ahmed, has stated that it expects the reopening of schools to boost diaspora remittances to Kenya, owing to an increase in funding support sent by Kenyans living abroad to their families back home.

In a recent survey conducted by the Ahmed-led firm, education and health continued to be the most popular reasons for Kenyans living abroad to send money home, with the United States serving as the primary market source.

The recent rush to pay school fees is expected to increase inflows this week, with a monthly forecast of more than Ksh40 billion ($338.4 million).

The recent statement by the leading cross-border digital payments firm follows a slowdown in May, when inflows fell by about 4.4 percent, as inflation took a toll on households in various economies, with Kenya recording the highest in two years, at 7.9 percent.

“Before the March rebound, remittances were down five percent in February compared with January. As schools re-open, we foresee more inflows as family and friends in the diaspora continue to support those back at home,” WorldRemit’s management stated.

According to the global firm, digitization remains a key driver for the growth of remittance services, with significant developments recorded since the outbreak of the pandemic.

“Digital services are proving to be less expensive, more secure, and more convenient for both senders and receivers,” the company stated. It added that “innovation and customer service continue to be a major differentiator for service providers.”

WorldRemit, which Ahmed, Richard Igoe, and Catherine Wines co-founded in 2010, has grown from a small firm that facilitates payments into a cross-border digital payments service that provides international money transfer and remittance services globally.

As technological innovation and adoption have pushed the acceptance of cross-border transfers and payments, the cross-border digital payments firm’s international client base has grown to more than 5.7 million.

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Horn of Africa

Ethiopia’s richest man Mohammed Al-Amoudi loses nearly $1 billion this year

Al-Amoudi has lost his position as Africa’s sixth-richest man to Nigerian billionaire Mike Adenuga.

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Ethiopia’s richest man Mohammed Al-Amoudi.

Ethiopia’s richest man Mohammed Al-Amoudi has seen his net worth drop by about $1 billion since the start of the year, as the market value of his industrial assets, which include prestigious Swedish oil companies, continues to plummet, closely mirroring the drop in European stocks.

Al-Amoudi, a leading billionaire who was the wealthiest Black person in the world until he was dethroned by Nigerian cement tycoon Aliko Dangote in 2013, derives the majority of his net worth from an assortment of industrial assets in Sweden, Saudi Arabia, and Ethiopia.

His net worth has dropped from $6.71 billion at the start of this year to $5.73 billion as of the time of drafting this report, according to data gathered from the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. This translates to a loss of almost $1 billion ($981 million) for the Ethiopian billionaire this year.

The performance of his industrial assets, particularly his stakes in Preem, Sweden’s largest oil refiner, and Svenska Petroleum Exploration, another Swedish oil and gas exploration, and production business, can be traced to the billion-dollar decline in his net worth.

Al-Amoudi’s recent loss places him on a select list of African billionaires who have all seen their net worth fall by more than $500 million so far this year, including South African billionaire Johann Rupert, Swazi billionaire Natie Kirsh, and Zimbabwean tech tycoon Strive Masiyiwa.

As a result of the poor financial performance of his prime oil assets, Preem, the market value of his position in the leading oil refiner has fallen from $1.7 billion to $1.26 billion since 2022 began.

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