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Moroccan tycoon Mohamed Bensalah acquires Kenyan insurance firm

The purchase was made for an undisclosed sum.

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Holmarcom Group CEO Mohamed Hassan Bensalah.

Mohamed Hassan Bensalah’s Holmarcom Group has purchased a 51-percent stake in Kenya’s Monarch Insurance Company for an undisclosed sum. 

The deal makes Holmarcom the majority shareholder alongside Kamu Group and Maisha Bank, North Africa Post reported.

Nevertheless, the Moroccan company’s business with the Kenyan company is still subject to the approval of Kenya’s competition authorities.

Holmarcom Group is a family-run business established about 50 years ago by the late Abdelkader Bensalah, the father of Mohamed Hassan, who is the current chairman and CEO. The group operates in finance, insurance, agribusiness, distribution, logistics and real estate. 

In addition to its primary market (Morocco), the company has a footprint in three other African countries, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire and Benin. Two of its companies are listed on the Casablanca Stock Exchange: Les Eaux Minérales d’Oulmès and AtlantaSanad Assurance.

Commenting, Bensalah said: “With an expertise in insurance of more than 40 years, solid fundamentals and a market with strong potential, we are convinced that the Monarch Insurance Company has real growth prospects and we are delighted to be able to be part of its evolution.”

On the other hand, Monarch Insurance is a Kenya-based insurer that provides life insurance and non-life insurance, including car, property and travel insurance. It has been operating in Kenya for more than 40 years. 

While Monarch Insurance employs 130 people with 12 branches across Kenya, Holmarcom Group employs over 3,500 people. The partnership will help both companies leverage each other’s market with their unique offerings. 

Commenting on the deal was Kamu Group CEO Jared Kangwana, a key stakeholder in Monarch Insurance. “The Holmarcom Group has an unmatched depth and breadth of experience in the Moroccan insurance market, which is the second-largest in Africa and its capital injection into Monarch Insurance will bolster our growth and ambition to become a reference player in Kenya’s insurance industry,” Kangana said.

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These are the four African billionaires whose net worth has increased since start of 2022

Among them are Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote and Egypt’s wealthiest man Nassef Sawiris.

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Nassef Sawiris.

Only four of the 21 African businessmen on our radar with a net worth of $1 billion or more have seen their fortunes improve since the beginning of the year.

Among them are Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote and Egypt’s wealthiest man Nassef Sawiris.

The recent surge in the shares of companies in their portfolios has resulted in a combined wealth increase of nearly $2 billion for these four African billionaires since the start of the year.

According to data compiled by Billionaires.Africa, this is how they stand at the moment.

#1 Aliko Dangote

Net worth: $19.8 billion

Year-to-date wealth gains: $670 million

Nationality: Nigerian

Aliko Dangote, the chairman of Dangote Industries Limited, Africa’s most diversified manufacturing conglomerate, has seen his net worth rise by more than $670 million this year, from $19.1 billion at the start of the year to $19.8 billion at the time of writing.

The increase in his net worth can be attributed to a bump in the market value of his 86-percent stake in Dangote Cement Plc, which accounts for $9.06 billion of his $19.8-billion fortune.

Since the year began, shares in Dangote Cement, Africa’s largest cement manufacturer, have increased from N257 ($0.614) per share to N265 ($0.633) per share.

Earlier this week, the company’s share price plummeted to N241 ($0.57) per share, resulting in a staggering $863-million loss for the billionaire in a single day.

However, renewed buying interest among investors on Wednesday saw the billionaire recoup part of the wealth loss and net a year-to-date wealth gain of $670 million.

#2 Nassef Sawiris

Net worth: $7.16 billion

Year-to-date wealth gains: $670 million

Nationality: Egyptian

Egypt’s richest man Nassef Sawiris, a scion of Egypt’s wealthiest family, is one of the four African billionaires who have seen significant increases in their net worth since the beginning of the year.

The leading billionaire, who serves on the boards of Adidas and OCI N.V., a global nitrogen product manufacturer and distributor, has seen his net worth rise by $659 million since the beginning of this year, from $6.5 billion to $7.16 billion at the time of writing this report.

The majority of his fortune stems from his 38.8-percent stake in the Netherlands-based OCI N.V., which is worth $2.52 billion, and his six-percent stake in Adidas, which is worth $2.13 billion.

#3 Abdul Samad Rabiu

Net worth: $5.8 billion

Year-to-date wealth gains: $400 million

Nationality: Nigerian

Thanks to the listing of BUA Foods Plc, Abdul Samad Rabiu, the founder of BUA Group, one of Africa’s fastest-growing conglomerates, has seen positive wealth gains this year.

The market value of his stake in his newly consolidated food conglomerate, which went public on Jan. 5, offset the decline in the market value of his stake in his cement business, BUA Cement Plc, as its share price fell from N71.95 ($0.17) to N58.8 ($0.14) at the time of writing this report.

His net worth has risen by $400 million since the start of the year, from $5.4 billion to $5.8 billion.

#4 Nicky Oppenheimer

Net worth: $8.20 billion

Year-to-date wealth gains: $250 million

Nationality: South African

South Africa’s second-richest man Nicky Oppenheimer, who previously ran the diamond mining firm DeBeers before selling it to Anglo-American a decade ago, has seen his wealth rise by $250 million this year, from $7.95 billion to $8.2 billion, thanks to the revaluation of his private equity investments.

Oppenheimer, who is Africa’s third-richest man and South Africa’s second-wealthiest man, invests the majority of his net worth in private equity in Africa, Asia, the United States, and Europe through London-based Stockdale Street and Johannesburg-based Tana Africa Capital.

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Abu Dhabi-based Chimera acquires controlling stake in financial services provider linked to Egypt’s richest family

It is unclear how much of the 59.22 percent stake held by Orascom Financial Holding, a firm led by the billionaire Sawiris family, was acquired during the transaction.

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Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris

Chimera Investment, an Abu Dhabi-based firm led by Pakistani businessman Syed Basar Shueb, has announced the purchase of a majority stake in Beltone Financial Holding SAE, a Cairo-based financial services firm partially owned by Egypt’s richest family, the Sawiris.

According to a press release issued by the Abu Dhabi-based firm, a total of 55.9 percent of Beltone’s shareholding was acquired at a price of EGP1.485 ($0.0779) per share, bringing the total transaction value to EGP370 million ($19.3 million).

It is unclear how much of the 59.22-percent stake held by Orascom Financial Holding, a firm led by the Egyptian billionaire Sawiris family, was acquired during the share-purchase transaction. However, it is clear that Chimera is now the majority shareholder in Beltone as a result of the recent deal.

Syed Basar Shueb, chairman of Chimera Investment, commented on the transaction, stating that it aligns with Chimera’s broader strategy of long-term value creation investments and expands the company’s presence in regional economies.

He went on to state that, in the coming months, the Abu Dhabi-based firm will look to unlock value and implement an all-encompassing transformation plan aimed at restoring Beltone’s growth and profitability.

In addition to the transaction, Dalia Khorshid, the chairwoman and CEO of MASAR Financial Advisory, a regional financial advisory firm, was appointed as the new CEO of Beltone, as the Egyptian firm enters a new phase of growth under new management.

“I am honored by the opportunity to lead Beltone’s strategic transformation plan,” Khorshid said in response to her recent appointment as CEO. “I am confident that we will restructure and grow this institution to become a major market leader in the region and a solid platform for attracting international investments into our host markets.”

Beltone, a financial services provider in Egypt and the Middle East and North Africa, was founded in 2006 to provide brokerage, investment banking, asset management, equity research, and a variety of non-banking financial services like leasing, consumer finance, and venture capital platforms.

In a $1.3-million deal nearly a year ago, Orascom Financial Holding, led by Egypt’s Sawiris family, reduced its stake in Beltone to 59.22 from 61.24 percent.

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Tycoon Anas Sefrioui loses $111 million from stake in Moroccan property developer

The market value of Sefrioui’s 64.1-percent stake has now dropped to $189.43.

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Real estate tycoon Anas Sefrioui.

Moroccan businessmen have seen their net worth plummet by millions of dollars in recent weeks, owing to a market-wide sell-off that has reduced the value of their shareholdings and investments in companies listed on the country’s stock exchange.

Anas Sefrioui, a Moroccan real estate tycoon who founded the country’s largest property developer, Douja Promotion Groupe Addoha (ADH), ranks among those businessmen in Morocco whose net worth has declined significantly in recent years. In the past six months, the market value of his shareholding in the property developer has dropped by more than $111 million.

ADH manages several real estate programs and investments in North Africa under the leadership of Sefrioui, who owns 64.1 percent of the company, or 258,066,665 shares.

On Monday, shares in the real estate firm were trading at MAD7.56 ($0.734) on the Casablanca bourse. This is 53 basis points lower than their opening price on the Casablanca bourse, as the market is rocked by a massive sell-off, with foreign portfolio investments dwindling as international investors exit.

ADH shares on the local bourse have dropped from MAD12 ($1.165) on Feb. 10, nearly six months ago, to MAD7.56 ($0.734) at the time of writing this report, resulting in a 37-percent loss for shareholders.

The market value of Sefrioui’s 64.1-percent stake has dropped from MAD3.1 billion ($300.7 million) on Feb. 10 to MAD1.95 billion ($189.43 million) at the time of writing this report.

This equates to a loss of MAD1.14 billion ($111.2 million) for the Moroccan businessman in the past six months. Despite a multimillion-dollar drop in the market value of his shareholding in ADH, Sefrioui remains one of the wealthiest investors on the Casablanca bourse.

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