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Kenyan mogul Julius Mwale offers $20 million to farmers to restore activity at Mumias Sugar

The funds will be used to kickstart sugarcane cultivation and sugar production.

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Kenyan mogul Julius Mwale.

Kenyan tech tycoon and Mwale Medical and Technology City (MMTC) owner Julius Mwale has offered Ksh2.2 billion ($20 million) to farmers in an effort to restore sugarcane farming.

According to recent reports, Mwale said the funds will be used to provide farmers with capital to kickstart sugarcane cultivation and sugar production, and to boost the industry at large.

The capital commitment follows his successful Ksh27.6-billion ($249.31 million) bid made through his Tumaz & Tumaz Enterprise as part of a leasing tender to take control of Mumias Sugar over a 15-year period.

Mwale, who received a $200-million (Sh22.1 billion) loan commitment from a leading U.S. bank to strengthen his chances of taking home the lease, placed the highest bid from among eight bidders looking to assume control of the company, according to the receiver-manager, Ponangipali Rao.

His $249.31-million bid was higher than the Ksh8.4 billion ($75.9 million) that Devki Group owner Narendra Raval offered to take control of Mumias and the KSh3.5 billion ($31.61 million) that Kenyan businessman Jaswant Rai offered through his company, Rai Group.

Mwale’s $20-million commitment is expected to go to farmers who abandoned the Mumias plantation after the sugar-production company ran into a financial crisis three years ago.

In addition, Mwale disclosed that a sum of KSh2.2 billion ($20 million), Ksh887 million ($8 million) and Ksh221 million ($2 million) will be allocated, respectively, to revive two ethanol plants owned by the company, its power generation unit and its water-bottling plant.

Mwale also plans to allocate Sh2.2 billion ($20 million) each to build an airport, an agricultural research university, a sugar tourist resort, a housing project and a hospital at the Mumias complex.

Mwale is the president and CEO of SBA Technologies, a New York-based company founded in 2003.

He is also the lead investor in MMTC, a $2-billion community-owned sustainable metropolis with an extensive medical and technology complex that contains a shopping and residential unit, a golf resort and a convention center.

East Africa

Egypt’s richest man Nassef Sawiris loses $340 million in November as shares in Adidas slump

Since the year began, his net worth has declined by $44.2 million, or seven basis points.

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Egypt’s richest man Nassef Sawiris.

Egyptian billionaire businessman Nassef Sawiris recorded a multimillion-dollar net worth loss in November as a double-digit decline in the share price of German sportswear manufacturer Adidas caused his net worth to slump by $340 million during the month under review.

Sawiris, a member of the Adidas supervisory board since 2016, holds a 3.72-percent stake in the company. His beneficial stake in the sportswear behemoth accounts for a substantial fraction of his wealth.

Despite the marginal gains that he saw from his 30-percent stake in Netherlands-based fertilizer producer OCI N.V., the Egyptian billionaire recorded a loss in his net worth in November due to a 10-percent decline in Adidas shares on the Deutsche Börse in Frankfurt, Germany.

Data retrieved by Billionaires.Africa revealed that his net worth at the opening of business and trading activities on Nov. 1 was estimated at $6.89 billion.

The decline in the Adidas share price from €284 on Nov. 1 to €255.55, as investors sold off their positions in the sportswear maker after it reported a €600-million ($696 million) cut back in quarterly revenue, caused Sawiris’ net worth to fall to $6.55 billion on Nov. 30.

This translates to a net-worth loss of $320 million for the billionaire in the month under review.

Sawiris remains the richest man in Egypt and one of the wealthiest businessmen in Africa with a net worth of $6.55 billion. The figure represents 0.0786 percent from the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world.

His current net worth makes him the 435th wealthiest man in the world.

Since the year began, his net worth has declined by $44.2 million, or seven basis points, placing him among the many billionaires who have recorded losses in their net worth this year.

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East Africa

Centum, controlled by family of late tycoon Chris Kirubi, kicks off new dividend policy

Centum is a leading East African investment company with investments in real estate and private-equity assets.

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Late billionaire Chris Kirubi.

Kenya’s largest listed investment firm, Centum Investment Company, has announced a dividend policy that will see shareholders receive 30 percent of the investment income annually in line with its strategic decision to build up and strengthen its balance sheet.

Centum is a leading East African investment company with investments in real estate and private-equity assets in the consumer goods, financial, agribusiness and power sectors.

The family of late Kenyan businessman Christopher Kirubi controls a 31-percent stake in the company, which amounts to 205,908,205 ordinary shares.

The company emphasized that the policy is integral to its target to maintain a zero long-term debt balance, as it moves to reduce finance costs while reinvesting shareholder capital into portfolio companies to increase value.

So far in 2021, the company has posted a total of Ksh771.1 million ($6.85 million) in investment income, more than 134-percent higher than the Ksh329.1 million ($2.92 million) it reported in the first nine months of 2021.

The new policy’s coming on stream will see shareholders pocket Ksh231 million ($2.05 million) in final dividends next year, Ksh13 million ($115,460) higher than its final dividend of Ksh218 million ($1.94 million) in 2021.

Kenyan businessman James Mworia, the CEO of Centum, announced the dividend policy on Tues., Nov. 30, during an investor briefing. He explained that the policy corresponds with its target to strengthen its balance sheet.

Earlier this week, Centum reported Ksh662.1 million ($5.9 million) in net losses in the half-year period of its current financial year, compared to the Ksh1.98 billion ($17.6 million) in net losses that it posted during the corresponding period of 2021.

The resilient performance was underpinned by increased operating profitability driven by higher investment income, as Centum continued re-balancing its portfolio in line with its capital preservation and liquidity enhancement objectives.

As of press time, Dec. 1, shares in the company were worth Ksh15.1 ($0.1341), 33-basis points higher than their opening price on the Nairobi Stock Exchange this morning.

At the current price, the market value of the stake held by the family of the late billionaire is estimated at Ksh3.11 billion ($27.6 million).

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East Africa

Kenyan tycoon Suresh Bhagwanji Shah’s I&M Group profit surges by 70 percent above $51 million in 9M 2021

I&M Holdings, or I&M Group, is the Kenya-based non-operating holding for I&M Bank Limited.

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Businessman Suresh Bhagwanji Shah.

Kenyan financial services conglomerate I&M Bank Group reported robust financial results in 2021 as increased interest income coupled with reduced interest expenses delivered a strong double-digit surge in profit in the first nine months of 2021.

The financial services giant posted a profit of Ksh5.7 billion ($51 million) from January to September 2021, which represents a 25-percent increase when compared to the Ksh4.6 billion ($4.1 million) in profit that it reported during the same period a year ago.

I&M Holdings, or I&M Group, is the Kenya-based non-operating holding for I&M Bank Limited. It operates through its banking subsidiaries in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and a joint venture in Mauritius.

Since the bank’s founding in 1950 by Shah, who holds a substantial 10.8-percent stake in the banking group, it has grown its operational footprint to other countries in the region.

Its expansion is evident in its recent acquisition of a 90-percent stake in the Ugandan bank, Orient Bank Limited.

The group’s profit in the first nine months of 2021 was driven by its assets and revenue diversification strategy, which led to the 15.73-percent growth in interest income to Ksh22.8 billion ($202.6 million), and a 5.2-percent decline in interest expenses.

Despite an increase in operating expenses driven by higher wages and salaries paid to the staff and loan loss provisions for the period, the strong double-digit growth in net-interest income spurred revenue above the $51-million mark.

As a result of this strong performance, the value of the group’s assets rose from Ksh344.7 billion ($3.0 billion) in 2020 to Ksh399.1 billion ($3.5 billion), while the value of the shareholders’ equity stake grew from Ksh60.5 billion ($537.6 million) to Ksh68 billion ($604.3 million).

As of press time, Nov. 30, shares in the group were worth Ksh21 ($0.1866) per share, 48-basis points higher than their opening price on Mon., Nov. 30.

At this valuation, the group’s market capitalization is estimated at Ksh17.4 billion ($154.6 million).

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