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Moroccan Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch loses $45 million from stake in Afriquia Gaz

Akhannouch remains one of the richest investors on the Casablanca bourse and one of Morocco’s richest businessmen.

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Moroccan Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch.

The year-to-date loss in the shares of Afriquia Gaz, a Moroccan firm owned in part by billionaire businessman Aziz Akhannouch, has resulted in a $152.5-million drop in the firm’s market value, as hesitant investors sell down stakes in the oil and gas group despite delivering an impressive financial performance at the end of 2021.

This market action resulted in a million-dollar drop in the stake of Akhannouch, Morocco’s prime minister and a leading businessman who owns a sizable stake in the diversified investment group.

Since the start of the year, the market value of his stake has dropped by more than $45 million, as wary investors sold off stakes in the Morocco-based oil and gas group.

The drop in the value of his stake can be directly attributed to an 8.3-percentage drop in Afriquia Gaz’s share price, which fell from MAD5,300 ($534.56) per share at the start of trading this year to MAD4,860 ($490.18) at the time of writing this report.

The market value of Akhannouch’s 30-percent stake in Afriquia Gaz has declined from MAD5.47 billion ($551.26 million) to MAD 5.01 billion ($505.5 million) as a result of the group’s share price movement on the Casablanca bourse.

This equates to a total loss of MAD453.75 million ($45.76 million) for the Moroccan businessman since the year began.

Despite the impact of the loss on the value of his stake and his net worth, Akhannouch remains one of the richest investors on the Casablanca bourse and one of Morocco’s richest businessmen.

In recent times, Morocco’s soaring fuel prices have put the billionaire petrol magnate, who also happens to be the country’s prime minister, at the center of an ongoing debate about a conflict of interests between business and politics.

For the first time since the Ukraine war caused a global spike in crude prices, Akhannouch explained to parliament last week that developments on the global market played a key role in the recent rise at the pump to a record $1.46 per liter of unleaded fuel.

As a result, filling a car’s tank would consume a significant portion of one’s income, despite the fact that the minimum monthly wage in Morocco is only $280. This reality, however, creates significant opportunities for oil and gas companies to create wealth for their shareholders.

Afriquia Gaz’s revenue at the end of 2021 was MAD7.15 billion ($720.2 million), up from MAD5.52 billion ($556.2 million) at the end of December 2020, a 29.6-percent increase explained primarily by an increase in the price of energy products.

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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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