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Russian-born billionaire with St. Kitts & Nevis passport is case study in perspicuity

Durov is best known for founding the social networking site VK and later Telegram Messenger.



Pavel Durov.

This CBI-focus feature is sponsored and provided by the The Fairway Group.

Russian-born billionaire with a St. Kitts & Nevis passport Pavel Durov is an example of a global strategy that can circumvent political and military conflict, as St. Kitts halts Russian applications for Citizenship By Investment (CBI).

Pavel Valeryevich Durov, born Oct. 10, 1984, is a Russian-born Kittitian. He is best known for founding the social network site VK and later Telegram Messenger. His net worth is estimated to be north of $17 billion and he has been a vocal advocate for freedom.

Like many strategies on the stock market, some moves always appear brilliant in hindsight when they may have been, at best, merely fortuitous.

So, it can be argued that the purchase of a St. Kitts and Nevis passport (judged the best passport in the world) may have been a lucky accident. However, everything points away from that conclusion.

It is clear that Durov is intentional, as well as brilliant. It is also clear that he is socio-politically active, taking part in both the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the WEF Young Global Leaders program. Durov secured his original CBI passport long before the present Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The concept of CBI was first introduced to the world by St. Kitts and Nevis in 1984. In exchange for investing in the country, applicants could receive a St. Kitts & Nevis passport if they were successful in passing the due diligence scrutiny of the government.

Currently, holders of the passport can travel to more than160 countries and territories without worrying about the inconvenience of having to apply for a visa months before travel, possibly sending their passport away to have it stamped without having a guarantee that the visa would get arrive in time – before the intended travel date.

So, even if we agree that we cannot attribute the purchase of the St. Kitts and Nevis passport to Durov’s perspicacity, we can certainly admire his perspicuity in choosing the best and having a “Plan B” with a safe-island approach before it was actually needed.

St. Kitts and Nevis has now joined others in imposing sanctions on Russia – including ceasing all applications for citizenship by Russians. There is a critical lesson to be learned here. It is impossible to purchase fire insurance while your house is on fire. The time to purchase fire insurance is when there is no indication that your house will ever burn down. For Africans of high and ultra-high net worth and, indeed, for all who desire safety and flexibility for themselves and their families, this is a wakeup call.

The time to apply for a St. Kitts and Nevis passport is now.

The Fairway Group has concierge services offering more than just a second passport for as little as $285,000, all-in, for investing in a boutique hotel in St. Kitts. The projected returns are “up to 8 percent per annum.” The successful applicant is also able to sell their shares after seven years and the new purchaser has the right to apply for second citizenship as long as the shares sell for the current price of a CBI share or more. This offers an elegant and effective exit strategy, since the original investor retains their passport for life, along with all the other accruing benefits.

Although residency is not a requirement for a successful application, passport holders can visit Kitts and Nevis at any time. There is no personal income tax in St. Kitts and Nevis and also no withholding tax. Passport holders can open businesses, purchase land and participate everyday life of Kittitians. Shares in The Fairway Group project also provide a residential address that can used to establish an independent financial profile and satisfy Common Reporting Standards.

Avoiding conflict and navigating to safety is no longer the privilege of the ultra-rich. Instead, it is the responsibility and domain of anyone – even of modest means – seeking protection for their family in times of uncertainty and chaos.

The Fairway Group

The Fairway Group is a Real Estate Development Company offering Citizenship By Investment application services on the island of St Kitts in the West Indies.

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Led by Egypt’s richest family, Orascom Construction sees profit drop 43.1 percent in Q1 2022

Nassef Sawiris owns 28.97 percent of the multinational construction group, or 33,825,323 shares.



Nassef Sawiris.

Despite reporting a double-digit percent increase in profit in 2021 due to improved collections and liquidity management, Orascom Construction reported a profit of $15.3 million at the end of the first six months of 2021.

Orascom Construction is Egypt’s richest family-founded multinational engineering and construction corporation.

The leading engineering and construction behemoth reported a profit of $15.3 million in the first quarter of 2022, down more than 43.1 percent from the $26.9 million in profit reported in the first quarter of 2021, according to recently published financial results.

Despite a 20-percent increase in revenue from $816.6 million to $979.9 million, the group’s earnings power was hampered by a surge in direct costs above $880 million, combined with an increase in operating expenses during the period under review.

Osama Bishai, CEO of Orascom Construction, commented on the financial performance, saying: “We indicated in the previous quarter that we expected to experience challenges associated with the changing global economic environment.”

“As always, we continue to prioritize project controls, cost optimization, supply chain, and collections. Our new awards strategy is also unchanged as we continue to focus on high-quality projects across our geographies in sectors in which we are competitive,” he said.

The group was able to keep its project backlog at $5.5 billion by awarding $617.5 million in new contracts during the first quarter of 2022.

Despite the depreciation of the Egyptian pound, the backlog is consistent with the level achieved a year ago, as it was supported by high-profile infrastructure projects in Egypt denominated in foreign currency, as well as projects in other markets in the Middle East, Africa and the United States.

As part of its commitment to shareholders, the board proposed a $27-million dividend distribution to be paid in the third quarter of 2022. This is the group’s fifth consecutive year of dividend payments.

Orascom Construction is a leading global engineering and construction contractor, with active operations and investments in the Middle East, Africa, and the United States.

Egypt’s richest man Nassef Sawiris owns 28.97 percent of the group, or 33,825,323 ordinary shares, while OS Private Trust Company owns 51.8 percent of the Egypt-based contractor for the benefit of the Sawiris family.

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South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe, wife join world leaders at 2022 WEF Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland

Motsepe is a member of the WEF Board of Trustees.



South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe. ©Billionaires.Africa

South African billionaire mining mogul Patrice Motsepe and his wife Precious Moloi-Motsepe have been confirmed as two of the 35 South African business representatives who will attend an event at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, tomorrow, which is partially dedicated to promoting South Africa as an attractive investment destination.

The event, “Preparing for Africa’s Growing Global Role,” was developed in partnership with the South African Broadcasting Corp.

The 2022 WEF Annual Meeting, which runs from May 22 to 26, is convening at the most consequential geopolitical and geo-economic moment in the past three decades against the backdrop of a once-in-a-century pandemic, COVID-19, and the continuing Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Motsepe and his wife, a renowned medical practitioner, join South African Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana and International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor as top representatives who will offer ideas about how to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly in Africa.

Other South African business leaders who will attend the WEF Annual Meeting this week include: Leila Fourie, group CEO of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange; Rene Parker, CEO of RLabs; Nicola Galombik, executive director of Yellowwood; and, Bronwyn Nielsen, founder and CEO of Nielsen Media and Associates.

According to a statement issued by the South African government, the event will also provide an opportunity for the government to share an update on South Africa’s economic reconstruction and recovery plan, promote the country’s economic reforms, and advance critical public-private partnerships to support its development goals.

Just last weekend, Motsepe, a member of the WEF Board of Trustees, passed Zimbabwean billionaire Strive Masiyiwa to re-emerge as Southern Africa’s richest Black businessman.

According to Forbes, Motsepe is back on top as Southern Africa’s richest Black billionaire, with a net worth of $3.1 billion as of press time on May 21, while Masiyiwa’s net worth has dropped to $2.7 billion.

Motsepe’s net worth has increased from $2.9 billion at the start of the year to $3.1 billion at the time of writing, owing to a 6.1-percent increase in the share price of African Rainbow Minerals, the South African mining and minerals company that he founded in 1997.

In addition to other assignments at this year’s WEF Annual Meeting, the billionaire will also speak on, “Sport as a Unifying Force,” alongside Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, WEF Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab, and FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

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Kenyan businessman John Kimani receives $1.2 million in dividends from agro-allied firm, Kakuzi

Kimani owns a 32.3-percent stake in Kenyan agricultural company.



Kenyan businessman John Kimani.

Despite a double-digit decline in the profit of Kenya-based agro-allied company Kakuzi in 2021, Kenyan businessman and leading media mogul John Kimani was paid a dividend of Ksh139.3 million ($1.2 million) from his stake in the agricultural firm on Friday.

Kimani, one of the Nairobi Securities Exchange’s wealthiest investors, owns a 32.3-percent stake in Kakuzi, He also controls substantial equity positions in Centum Investments and Nation Media Group.

The $1.2-million dividend, which was paid into Kimani’s bank account on Fri., May 20, following shareholder approval at the group’s annual general meeting, was paid from the Ksh431-million ($3.7-million) payout approved by the company’s board based on its 2021 financial results.

At the end of 2021, Kakuzi’s board of directors proposed paying its shareholders a dividend of Ksh22 ($0.189) per share, a 22-percent increase from the Ksh18 ($0.154) per share paid last year, despite reporting a 48.6-percent drop in earnings from Ksh622.03 million ($5.43 million) in 2020 to Ksh319.74 million ($2.8 million).

The company’s 8.7-percent drop in revenue from Ksh3.61 billion ($31.5 million) to Ksh3.29 billion ($28.7 million) caused the earnings to decline, which did not prevent the company from increasing its dividend payout by 22 percent.

Kakuzi Chairman Nicholas Ng’ang’a assured shareholders that strategic plans had been activated to accelerate and enhance returns by diversifying the variety of produce delivered to domestic and global markets in an effort to reward shareholders with an even higher dividend payout in the coming years.

“We are part of a global marketplace and the products we produce often face stiff competition from producers in other countries. We, therefore, embarked on a very significant diversification program several years ago to ensure that Kakuzi is not dependent on any one crop,” Ng’ang’a said.

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