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Malagasy mogul Hassanein Hiridjee’s Axion embarks on solar plant mega-expansion project

The move will see Axion boost the plant’s capacity to 40 MWp.

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Malagasy multimillionaire Hassanein Hiridjee.

Malagasy multimillionaire Hassanein Hiridjee’s Axian Group has announced plans to double the size of a 20-MWp solar power plant located in the Ambatolampy solar field in Madagascar. 

The move will see the group increase the plant’s capacity to 40 MWp, while providing a 5MWh battery storage capacity.

The project was initiated by Greenyellow Madagascar, a joint venture co-founded by the Axian Group, and Greenyellow, an electricity company controlled by the Paris-based investment business La Foncière Euris. While Axian Group holds a 51-percent stake in the company, Green Yellow holds 49 percent.

Axian announced the commencement of a $20.38-million (€17 million) project to double the size of the plant this month, with the commissioning of an expanded facility expected to take place this year, PV Magazine reported.

“The expansion of the Ambatolampy power plant is fully in line with our objectives to increase access to energy to the Malagasy people by means of clean, sustainable, and affordable energy,” GreenYellow CEO Otmane Hajji said. 

The project’s financiers include the French lender Socieete Generale, the Private Infrastructure Development Group funded by the International Finance Corporation, Banque de Madagascar et de l’Ocean Indien and BNI Madagascar.

“The Axian Group, through its wholly dedicated entity, Axian Energy, works to accelerate the energy transition each day and today, it is our pride to be able to implement this project in an extremely short timeframe, given the current sanitary constraints we are experiencing for about a year. It was a real challenge,” Hajji said.

Axian Group is a pan-African conglomerate based in Madagascar. It has investments in real estate, telecom, finance, energy and open innovation, and is controlled by Hiridjeehe.

In April, Millicom International Cellular SA (Millicom) announced an agreement to sell its Tanzania operations for an undisclosed amount to a consortium led by Axian Group. In 2018, Axian joined a consortium that acquired Millicom’s operations in Senegal.

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Nigerian billionaire Femi Otedola gains $12.7 million from stake in FBNH

FBNH is one of Nigeria’s largest financial services conglomerates.

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Femi Otedola. ©Billionaires.Africa

Nigerian billionaire Femi Otedola’s stake in the country’s oldest commercial bank, First Bank of Nigeria Holdings Plc (FBNH), has risen by more than $12 million in recent months, as shares in the financial services group rebounded strongly after falling below key levels.

According to data tracked by Billionaires.Africa, Otedola’s stake in FBNH has increased in value by N5.34 billion ($12.7 million) in the past 54 days, as investors continued to cherry-pick stakes in the commercial banking group after its price fell below N9 ($0.0214) in June.

FBNH is one of Nigeria’s largest financial services conglomerates. It is the non-operating holding company of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, the country’s oldest commercial bank, with active operations in 10 countries.

According to a flurry of trading updates published on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in June, Otedola sold 664,939,764 shares in four separate transactions, reducing his stake in the Nigerian lender from 2,717,282,140 shares, or 7.57 percent, to 2,052,342,376 shares, or 5.72 percent.

Shares in the financial group have increased by 31 percent since June 21, nearly 54 days ago, from N8.4 ($0.02) to N11 ($0.026) at the time of writing, amid renewed buying interest in the bank’s shares on the local bourse.

As a result of the double-digit increase in the shares of FBNH, the market value of Otedola’s 5.72 percent stake in FBNH has increased by N5.34 billion ($12.73 million), from N17.24 billion ($41.12 million) on June 21 to N22.58 billion ($53.85 million) at the time of writing this report.

The recent gains in his stake follow a dividend of N951.05 million ($2.29 million) from his equity stake in the financial services group that he received earlier this year.

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Egyptian billionaire Yasseen Mansour gains $1.86 million in 74 days from Palm Hills stake

Mansou owns a sizable 5.6-percent stake in the Cairo-based real estate firm.

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Egyptian billionaire Yasseen Mansour. ©Billionaires.Africa

Egyptian billionaire Yasseen Mansour has recorded a EGP35.6-million ($1.86 million) boost in his net worth in the past 74 days, as shares in Palm Hills Development increased by nearly 19 percent in reaction to the company’s recently released first-quarter results.

Palm Hills Development, an operating subsidiary of Egypt’s largest conglomerate, Mansour Group, is a well-known real estate developer with active investments in Egypt. The company develops integrated residential, commercial, and resort communities.

Mansour, the chairman of Palm Hills Development and one of Egypt’s and Africa’s wealthiest individuals, owns a sizable 5.6-percent stake in the Cairo-based real estate firm.

The Egyptian real estate developer revealed that its profit increased by more than 40 percent in the first quarter of 2022, from EGP217.4 million ($11.36 million) in the first quarter of 2021 to EGP305.8 million ($16 million), owing to sustained growth in demand for properties in Egypt.

As a result of the firm’s strong financial performance, investors on the Egyptian Stock Exchange increased their buying interest in Palm Hills shares, resulting in an 18.6-percent increase in the firm’s stock price from EGP1.13 ($0.059) on June 1 to EGP1.34 ($0.07) on Aug. 14.

Mansour’s 5.6-percent stake in Palm Hills Development has increased in value over the past 74 days, from EGP191.94 million ($10 million) to EGP227.6 million ($11.89 million) at the time of writing.

This equates to a total gain of EGP35.6 million ($1.86 million) for the Egyptian billionaire, who ranks as one of the wealthiest men on the African continent, alongside his brothers Mohamed Mansour and Youssef Mansour, both of whom own Mansour Group and Palm Hills Development.

His net worth is estimated at $1.1 billion, making him one of Africa’s wealthiest businessmen.

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Nigerian billionaire Abdul Samad Rabiu unveils $23.8-million security support fund

It is the single largest donation to a philanthropic cause made by a Nigerian businessman.

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Abdul Samad Rabiu. ©Billionaires.Africa

Nigerian billionaire businessman Abdul Samad Rabiu has announced the creation of the N10-billion ($23.8 million) Nigeria Security Support Fund through his philanthropic organization, the Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa Initiative (ASR Africa). He unveiled the project during a meeting with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock presidential residence in Abuja.

Rabiu launched the initiative to provide security equipment and medical and other supplies to the families of soldiers fighting terrorists in Nigeria’s northeast, and to strengthen local infrastructure.

The contribution marks the single largest donation to a philanthropic cause made by a Nigerian businessman, and follows the $3-million development initiative that Rabiu launched in Niger three weeks ago through ASR Africa. Last week, Rabiu received the Commander of the Order of Merit of Niger Award in recognition of his contributions to the country of Niger and its people.

Rabiu also praised Buhari for creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive. He cited policies implemented by his administration, which, he said, aided the growth of his manufacturing conglomerate, BUA Group, which is one of the continent’s fastest-growing commercial groups.

He also promised to support the administration’s efforts in industrial development and security.

Rabiu established ASR Africa in April 2021 to promote long-term, impact-driven solutions to developmental issues affecting health, educational, and social development across Africa.

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