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East Africa

soleRebels Founder Bethlehem Alemu launches Ethiopian bank with $116.3 million in capital

Selam Mortgage Bank aims to create the largest generation of homeowners in Ethiopian history.



Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, founder and executive director of soleRebels.

Selam Mortgage Bank, a Birr 5-billion ($116.3 million) Ethiopian bank, has launched today in Addis Ababa. The bank aims to become the country’s most progressive bank. 

Selam aims to create the largest generation of homeowners in Ethiopian history by offering dynamic mortgage products currently unavailable on the market. The bank plans to finance more than 100,000 mortgages within five years, totaling Birr 200 billion ($4.65 billion) in home value, which is equal to 4.5 percent of the country’s 2020 GDP. 

The bank will start operations within five months. It has an approved capital of Birr 5 billion ($116.3 million), of which Birr 2 billion ($46.51 million) will be paid at the start of operations. By year three, the bank’s capital will reach Birr 5 billion ($116.3 million). 

The par value of one share is 1,000 ($23.25). The minimum number of shares that can be bought is 10 shares valued at Birr 10,000 ($232.55). 

Selam also aims to become a positive disruptor in home financing in Ethiopia by offering down payments of as low as 15 percent. The management also believes that this will make it easier for female-led households to gain access to mortgages. 

Ethiopia’s population of 117 million makes it the second most populous African country, with a median age of under 20. It is projected to top 181 million by 2042.  

Studies have shown that there is a severe housing crisis in Ethiopian urban centers. The housing shortage in Addis Ababa is estimated at 1.9 million units, with the demand increasing by 100,000 units each year. 

The bank also plans to sell shares to investors as allowed under current law. These include Ethiopian nationals, Ethiopian-born foreign nationals and companies fully owned by Ethiopian nationals or Ethiopian-born foreign nationals.

It may also issue long-term corporate bonds, including mortgage back securities. The timing and size of the offerings will be determined by several factors, including the level of funding required and the market’s receptiveness and sophistication.

Last year, Capital Ethiopia reported that the National Bank of Ethiopia had given Selam Mortgage Bank the green light to operate in the country.

Entrepreneurs Bethlehem Alemu, the founder of the handcrafted footwear company soleRebels, Sara Abera, Zemedeneh Negatu, Girma Gelaw and Amman Fissehazion were named among its founders.

East Africa

Kenyan tycoon Peter Munga earns nearly $1 million from Britam as shares rise by 20 percent

Britam Holdings is a leading regional insurer with a diversified financial services portfolio.



Kenyan tycoon Peter Munga.

Kenyan multimillionaire businessman Peter Munga has seen the market value of his stake in Britam Holdings increased by KSH102 million ($924,000) in the past 143 days, as shares in the Nairobi-based financial services group increase by double digits.

Britam Holdings is a leading regional insurer with a diversified financial services portfolio and active operations in seven African countries, including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan, Mozambique and Malawi.

Mung, the immediate past group chair of Equity Bank Group, a financial services group based in Nairobi, Kenya, holds a 72-million-share stake in Britam.

As of press time, 4:07 PM, Sept. 23, shares in the investment holding company were trading at KSH8.08 ($0.073) per share, 98-basis points lower than its opening price on the Nairobi bourse this morning.

Since the opening of the Nairobi Stock Exchange on May 3, its stock price has increased from KSH6.72 ($0.061) per share to KSH8.08 ($0.073) per share, thus accruing a 20.2-percent profit for the Kenyan businessman and other shareholders.

The double-digit surge in the group’s shares was due to investor buying activities on the Nairobi bourse in reaction to a profit of KSH647 million ($5.9 million) recorded in the first half of 2021.

Meanwhile, the market value of Munga’s stake in the investment holding has increased from KSH504 million ($4.565 million) on May 3 to KSH606 ($5.489 million) on Sept. 23.

This translates to a gain of KSH102 million ($924,000) for Munga in 143 days.

In recent times, Kenya’s Capital Markets Authority (CMA) ordered the directors of Britam Holdings to confirm their role in a scandal involving Munga.

The order follows a disclosure by the Mauritian commission of inquiry that Munga arranged the secretive purchase of 452.5 million shares in Britam from the Mauritian government in a deal that left the country with a Ksh3.9-billion ($35.9 million) loss in 2016.

CMA CEO Wycliffe Shamiah said Mauritius feels its officers were compromised when clearing the transaction. However, further details revealed that it was in fact based on negotiations.

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East Africa

Mauritian tycoon Hector Espitalier-Noel loses $13.6 million as ENL shares retreat from 20-month high

The drop can be attributed to investor profit-taking actions.



Mauritian tycoon Hector Espitalier-Noel.

Mauritian business tycoon Hector Espitalier-Noel has lost MUR582.3 million ($13.6 million) as shares in the Mauritius-based holding company ENL Limited retreated from a 20-month high of MUR22.6 ($0.53) per share.

The recent decline in his stake can be attributed to investor profit-taking actions, as bargain hunters booked profits leading to a 22.4-percent reduction in the company’s stock price in the past 78 days.

ENL Limited is the holding company of ENL Group, a broad-based enterprise behind more than 120 household brands of products and services. 

The group creates value for end consumers through flagship companies like Ascencia, Axess, ENL Agri, ENL Commercial, ENL Property, Rogers Group, Rogers Capital, Velogic and VLH.

It also operates through associated groups of companies such as New Mauritius Hotels and Eclosia.

Espitalier-Noel, the executive director and CEO of ENL Group, played a key role in the growth of the holding to a valuation of MUR1.07 billion ($475.8 million) on the local bourse.

In addition to his leadership roles in the group, the Mauritian business tycoon holds a beneficial ownership interest, amounting to 9.9 percent of ENL stock.

The market value of his stake declined by MUR582.34 million ($13.6 million) in the last 78 days, as shares in the group dropped from MUR24.5 ($0.571) on July 7 to MUR19.0 ($0.442) per share on Sept. 23.

Research conducted by Billionaires.Africa revealed that the value of his stake declined from MUR2.6 billion ($60.4 million) to MUR2 billion ($46.9 million) between July 7 and Sept. 23.

This translates to a MUR582.34 million ($13.6 million) loss for the multimillionaire in 78 days.

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East Africa

Malawian tycoon Ramesh Savjani earns $3.4 million in 96 days as Malawi’s best performing stock surges

The multimillion-dollar profit from his stake can be attributed to a surge in the share price of Illovo Sugar Malawi.



Malawian businessman Ramesh Sawajani has gained MWK2.7 billion ($3.4 million) from his stake in Illovo Sugar, Malawi’s best performing stock accrues a triple-digit gain for investors in just 96 days.

The multimillion-dollar profit from his stake can be attributed to a surge in the share price of the company, as investors expect Illovo Sugar Malawi to deliver improved financial performance in the first half of 2021 and throughout the year as consumer demand strengthens following the disruption occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of press time, 2:55 PM (UTC), Sept. 21, shares in the sugar company were trading at MWK265.50 ($0.3268) on the Malawi Stock Exchange.

Research conducted by Billionaires.Africa revealed that the company’s stock price between June 17 and Sept. 21 increased from MWK80.47 ($0.0991) to MWK265.50 ($0.3268) on the local bourse.

This translates to a gain of 230 percent for Illovo Sugar shareholders.

Meanwhile, Savjani, who owns a 2.08-percent stake in the sugar company, has seen the market value of his shares increase by $3.4 million in just about three months.

The market value of his stake has increased from MWK1.2 billion ($1.5 million) on June 17 to MWK3.9 billion ($4.8 million) at the time of drafting this report.

Sajvani is the chairman of the General Alliance insurance company in Malawi. The current valuation of his stake in Illovo Sugar makes him the second wealthiest investor on the Malawi Stock Exchange behind Hitesh Anadkat, the founder of FMB Capital Holdings.

Illovo Sugar is one of two sugar producers with active operations in Malawi. The company operates as a subsidiary of Illovo Sugar Africa, Africa’s largest sugar producer.

It annually cultivates around 1.8 million tonnes of cane, and produces about 250,000 tonnes of sugar per annum.

The recent surge in its share price can be linked to investor expectation of improved financial results following a notification that the company expects its half-year profit to increase by at least 60 percent from the previous year’s figures.

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