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Tanzanian multimillionaire Rajabali brothers gain $1.6 million from stake in CRDB Bank in 2021

The gains come off the back of a double-digit increase in the bank’s shares on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange.



Tanzanian multimillionaire Aunali Rajabali.

Tanzanian multimillionaires Aunali and Sajjad Rajabali have gained Tsh3.68 billion ($1.6 million) from their joint stake in Tanzania’s largest bank CRDB Bank since the start of the year. 

This was due to a double-digit increase in the bank’s shares on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange.

CRDB Bank Plc is the largest commercial bank in Tanzania, with a significant operational footprint in Burundi through its robust portfolio and tailored products.

The bank ranks higher than NMB Bank Plc and National Bank of Commerce Plc in terms of assets, making it a leading lender in the country with total assets of Tsh8.06 trillion ($3.5 billion) under management and liabilities of Tsh7.03 trillion ($3.05 billion).

The Rajabali brothers hold a beneficial 2.6-percent stake in the Dar es Salaam-based lender. Their joint interest, which amounts to a total of 66,921,350 ordinary shares in the bank, make them one of the top shareholders.

At the closing of trading on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange yesterday, Oct. 15, shares in CRDB Bank were worth Tsh250 ($0.1084) per share, up 4.17 percent from a price of Tsh240 ($0.1041) per share the day before.

Since the start of the year, the bank’s shares have advanced from a valuation of Tsh197 ($0.0854) per share on Jan. 4 to a valuation of Tsh250 ($0.1084) per share at the time of writing. This translates to a year-to-date gain of 22 percent for shareholders.

As a result, the market value of the joint stake held by the Rajabali brothers has increased from Tsh13.05 billion ($5.66 million) at the start of the year to Tsh16.73 billion ($7.25 million) at the time of writing.

This translates to a gain of Tsh3.68 billion ($1.6 million) for the businessmen since the start of 2021.

The Rajabalis also received Tsh1.47 billion ($635,024) in dividends from their stake in the Tanzanian bank.

The year-to-date price appreciation in CRDB Bank shares follows investor reactions to the lender’s strong financial performance in 2020, as the bank was able to grow its profit from Tsh120 billion ($51.8 million) in 2019 to Tsh165.2 billion ($71.3 million) in 2020, despite difficulties in its operating environment. 

In the first half of 2021, CRDB Bank was able to sustain the growth in its earnings power, as profit in the half-year period improved from Tsh70.4 billion ($30.5 million) in 2020 to Tsh88.6 billion ($38.4 million).

Analyst believe the bank is on course to deliver another resilient performance by the end of its 2021 financial year despite the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

East Africa

Malagasy tycoon Hassanein Hiridjee says Africa needs to invest in clean energy transition

Hiridjee is one of Madagascar’s wealthiest and most powerful business leaders.



Malagasy tycoon Hassanein Hiridjee.

Malagasy multimillionaire businessman and AXIAN Group CEO Hassanein Hiridjee has stated that Africa must invest in a clean energy transition to bolster the continent’s renewable energy capacity.

“We must double our commitment within Africa to increase investments to shape our own energy destiny in order to meet long-term goals,” Hiridjee said.

Millions of Africans could be lifted out of energy poverty with the right strategy and investment in clean energy transition projects stimulated by collective action from the private and public sectors, he said.

His statement comes after U.S. billionaire Michael Bloomberg pledged $242 million to assist developing countries, including African nations, in transitioning away from non-renewables.

Hiridjee explained that such funding is needed to combat Africa’s continuing energy crisis, in which hundreds of millions lack access to basic electricity.

He added that the lack of access to basic electricity is only worsening as a result of the war in Ukraine and COVID-19, with 25 million more Africans living without electricity than before the pandemic.

Infinity Group, a leading renewable energy company led by Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Mansour, recently partnered with the Africa Finance Corporation to acquire Lekela Power, making Infinity the continent’s largest renewable energy company.

Hiridjee, one of Madagascar’s wealthiest and most powerful business leaders, has also played a formative role in developing commercially viable energy solutions that provide Africans with efficient, long-term access to energy resources.

Earlier this year, Axian Group completed the expansion of the Ambatolampy solar power plant in Madagascar, from 20 to 40 MWp.

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East Africa

Ugandan tycoon Charles Mbire to pocket $1.15-million interim dividend from MTN Uganda

Mbire owns a significant 3.98-percent stake in the Ugandan telecom outfit.



Charles Mbire.

Ugandan multimillionaire businessman Charles Mbire is on track to receive an interim dividend of Ush4.48 billion ($1.155 million) from his stake in MTN Uganda after the telecom group reported a double-digit percent increase in earnings in the first half of 2022.

MTN Uganda is Uganda’s leading telecom service operator.

Mbire, the chairman of MTN Uganda and one of Uganda’s wealthiest businessmen, owns a significant 3.98-percent stake in the Ugandan telecom outfit, which operates as the fourth operating subsidiary of the South African multinational mobile telecom company, MTN Group.

The interim dividend will be paid electronically into his bank account at a later date from the group’s retained earnings of Ush902 billion ($232.4 million) at the end of its 2022 fiscal year. It is his first dividend from the telecom company since its shares were listed more than eight months ago.

The dividend payment follows a significant rise in the group’s earnings in the first half of 2022 despite a 4.9-percent decline in voice revenue, as it looks set to replicate its stellar performance in 2021.

As a result of the company’s strong financial performance, the board of directors approved the payment of an interim dividend of Ush5 ($0.00128) per share for the six months ending June 30, totaling Ush11.95 billion ($28.9 million), which is subject to withholding taxes.

According to data retrieved from the company’s earnings report for the first six months of 2022, its profit increased by 48.1 percent to Ush193.6 billion ($50.2 million) in the first half of 2022, compared to Ush130.7 billion ($33.7 million) in the first half of 2021.

The double-digit increase in profit can be attributed to a 10-percent surge in the company’s service revenue, which was driven by a significant increase in data and fintech revenue, which were more than sufficient to offset the 4.9-percent decline in voice revenue.

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East Africa

Led by Kenyan founder Owen Sakawa, AI-powered startup Elloe acquires Flo by Saada

Elloe was founded in 2021 by Sakawa, Abhijay Rao, and Aaron Madolora.



Owen Sakawa.

Elloe, a U.S.-based conversational commerce startup led by Kenyan tech entrepreneur Owen Sakawa, has acquired Flo by Saada nearly three months after raising more than $1 million in a pre-seed funding round led by institutional investors.

Flo by Saada is a Kenyan social commerce startup founded by Gerishon Mwaniki.

The acquisition of the startup, which launched in 2019 to enable small and medium enterprises to build solutions and process payments through USSD and programmable SMS, was completed for an undisclosed fee.

Through the acquisition, Elloe will be able to accelerate its next phase of growth by scaling operations for its corporate clients and expanding its footprint beyond its current operations in Kenya and the Philippines.

Commenting on the transaction in a press release obtained by Billionaires.Africa, Elloe CEO and Founder Owen Sakawa said: “The addition of Flo by Saada technology is a natural extension of Elloe’s offerings and fits perfectly into Elloe’s strategy. It transforms customer interactions from simple communications to conversations across the entire spectrum of customer engagement points.”

He added that Elloe will be better positioned to meet customers’ evolving needs in the future as it continues to provide businesses with embedded commerce capabilities to simplify the way that they serve, connect with, and sell to their own customers from anywhere, on any channel.

Elloe was founded in 2021 by Sakawa, Abhijay Rao, and Aaron Madolora as a first-of-its-kind AI-powered, conversational commerce platform that allows small and medium enterprises to buy and sell products online across messaging platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram.

With its proprietary technology that assists small businesses in managing their digital sales and customer service through an omnichannel platform that runs on messaging apps, the startup hopes to capitalize on opportunities in the $35-billion conversational commerce market, which has the potential to reach $130 billion by 2025 in emerging markets.

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