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The 10 investors on the Nigerian Exchange with the highest gains in 2021

Founders and investors on the Nigerian Exchange have seen their wealth rise astronomically since the start of the year.

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Flour Mills of Nigeria Chairman John Coumantaros.

Founders and investors on the Nigerian Exchange have seen their wealth rise astronomically since the start of the year, as a growth in earnings across the board swayed bargain hunters to sustain buying pressure on the shares of fundamentally strong companies on the local bourse.

The sustained buying pressure has led to an increased market value of equity stakes belonging to company founders such as Austin Avuru and A.B.C. Orjiako, who established Seplat in 2009, and Obafoluke Otudeko, the founder of Honeywell Group.

Meanwhile, billionaire businessmen like Aliko Dangote and Abdul Samad Rabiu have suffered huge losses from their holdings.

Data computed by Billionaires.Africa revealed that the 10 investors who saw their wealth rise the most this year have seen the market value of their stakes increase by a total of $174.8 million.

Here is how investors have performed so far this year:

#1 Austin Avuru

Holdings: Seplat Energy

Equity gains: $52.2 million

Austin Avuru, the Nigerian oil magnate who holds a beneficial stake in Seplat Energy, has seen the market value of his equity position rise by $52.2 million this year on the back of an 89-percent increase in the share price of the leading oil company.

Seplat rebounded from a loss of $145.3 million in the first half of last year to a pretax profit of $62.1 million in the first half of 2021.

This resilient performance led shares in the company to increase by double digits, as investors sustained buying interest on the Nigerian Exchange.

#2 Obafoluke Otudeko

Holdings: Honeywell Flour Mills Plc, First Bank of Nigeria Holdings Plc

Equity gains: $40.1 million

Nigerian business tycoon Obafoluke Otudeko, who runs the Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel on Victoria Island, Lagos, has seen his wealth surge by $40.1  million since the start of the year.

The majority of the $40.1-million gain in Otudeko’s stakes on the local bourse came off of a 257-percent increase in the share price of Honeywell Flour Mills, as investors digest its most recent quarterly filings.

In the first quarter of its 2021-2022 financial year, Honeywell reported that its profit grew by 233 percent to N150 million ($364,521), from N45 million ($109,356) in the corresponding quarter of its 2020-2021 financial year.

The triple-digit growth in the company’s profit spurred investors and bargain hunters to acquire stakes in the flour miller.

#3 A.B.C. Orjiako

Holdings: Seplat Energy

Equity gains: $40.1 million

A.B.C. Orjiako co-founded Seplat Energy with Austin Avuru, another investor who recorded a double-digit increase in his wealth due to the rise in the share price of Seplat Energy on the Nigerian Exchange.

Data tracked on the Nigerian Exchange revealed that the 89-percent increase in the share price of Seplat Energy caused the value of Orjiako’s stake in the company to gain $32.8 million since the start of the year.

Aside from his gains, the multimillionaire businessman is on course to earn an interim $1.9-million dividend.

#4 John Coumantaros

Holdings: Flour Mills of Nigeria

Equity gains: $18 million

Nigeria-based Greek businessman and investor John Coumantaros is one of the investors on the Nigerian Exchange who have seen their wealth rise the most so far this year.

The multimillionaire businessman holds an indirect stake of 63 percent in Flour Mills of Nigeria through Excelsior Shipping Company Limited.

Data compiled by Billionaires.Africa revealed that the market value of his indirect stake in the leading flour miller has increased by $18 million so far this year.

The $18-million gain in his stake can be attributed to an 11-percent increase in the share price of the leading flour miller on the Nigerian bourse.

#5 Belinda Ajoke Disu

Holdings: Julius Berger Nigeria

Equity gains: $7.5 million

The 35-year-old Nigerian businesswoman and the executive vice chairman of Globacom has seen the market value of her stake in Julius Berger Nigeria Plc increase by $7.5 million since the start of the year.

The multimillion-dollar gain in her stake can be attributed to a 42-percent increase in the price valuation of Julius Berger shares on the Nigerian Exchange.

#6 Abdulwasiu Sowami 

Holdings: Ardova

Equity gains: $5.2 million

Abdulwasiu Sowami, who acquired Forte Oil following Femi Otedola’s decision to divest his shares in the oil company, has played a crucial role in transforming the company into one of the leading players in the Nigerian oil and gas sector.

The market value of his equity stake in Ardova Plc, which amounts to 970,666,694 ordinary shares, is presently worth $37.2 million, up by $5.2 million since the start of the year.

The $5.2 million increase in the value of his stake came off of a 14.4-percent increase in the company’s share price.

#7 Victor Odili

Holdings: MTN Nigeria

Equity gains: $5.1 million

Nigerian energy magnate Victor Odili, the chairman and executive director of Aero-Maritime Group and a former member of the board of MTN Nigeria Communications, has seen the market value of his stake in MTN Nigeria Plc increase by $5.1 million.

The largest telecom service provider in Nigeria, MTN Nigeria recorded a 54.1-percent growth in profit in the first half of 2021.

The double-digit growth, which spurred investors to sustain buying interest in the leading telecom service provider, caused MTN shares to rise from N169.90 in January to N172.50 today, Sept. 1.

#8 Goni Musa Sheikh

Holdings: Julius Berger Nigeria 

Equity gains: $4.8 million

Goni Musa Sheikh, who is on the board of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc and Oriental Energy Resources Limited, is among those investors who recorded a double-digit increase in their wealth as a result of the rise in the share price of Julius Berger Nigeria.

The $4.8-million increase in the market value of his stake in Julius Berger was driven by a 42-percent increase in the price valuation of Julius Berger shares on the Nigerian Exchange.

#9 Obafemi Otudeko

Holdings: Honeywell Flour Mills 

Equity gains: $4.6 million

Obafemi Otudeko, the son of Obafoluke Otudeko, the Nigerian multimillionaire businessman who founded Honeywell Flour Mills Plc, is one of the beneficiaries of the recent surge in the share price of the indigenous miller on the Nigerian Exchange.

Data compiled by Billionaires.Africa revealed that the 257-percent increase in the share price of Honeywell Flour Mills triggered the market value of his holdings to increase by $4.6 million.

#10 Kessington Adebutu

Holdings: Wema Bank Plc

Equity gains: $4.5 million

The equity stake of Nigerian gambling magnate Kessington Adebutu in Wema Bank Plc has gained $4.5 million since the start of the year.

The $4.5-million gain came off of a 25-percent increase in the price valuation of Wema Bank shares on the Nigerian Exchange.

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Namibian tycoon Quinton van Rooyen’s Trustco wins round in court against JSE

Shares in the group rose 35.56 percent as a result.

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Quinton van Rooyen.

Trustco Group, an investment holding majority owned by Namibian businessman Quinton van Rooyen and his family, has won a round in court against the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

The Pretoria High Court ruled that the company may not be suspended from the JSE until the hearing of its review application in September.

The presiding judge, Nicoline Janse van Nieuwenhuizen, pre-dismissed every argument made against Trustco. The judge issued a decision, in which she ordered the JSE to be interdicted and restrained from suspending Trustco shares from trading on the local bourse.

“The grounds of review are all deserving of a proper hearing in due course, and I am satisfied that Trustco has asserted a prima facie right to fair and just administrative action,” she said in her decision.

In response to the news, shares in the group rose 35.56 percent to R0.61 ($0.0367), from a price of R0.45 ($0.0271) at the start of trading this morning.

The increase in Trustco’s share price pushed its market capitalization above R985 million ($60 million) and the value of van Rooyen’s 63.94-percent stake above R630 million ($38 million).

The court also prohibited the JSE from implementing or attempting to implement the decision that Trustco restate its annual financial statements for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2019, as well as the interim results for the six months ending Sept. 30, 2019.

The legal battle between Trustco and the JSE began on Nov. 11, 2020, when the exchange’s authorities claimed that the company had not met the listing requirements for its 2019 annual financial statements and 2020 interim results.

As part of the allegations, the JSE accused Trustco of violating international accounting standards by misrepresenting features of two loans and reclassifying land that it owns.

Trustco questioned the JSE’s authority to order corporations to amend their financial statements. It claimed that only boards have that authority and stated that all transactions had been “exactly accounted for, reported, and disclosed.”

Amid the legal battle between Trustco and the JSE, wary local bourse investors sold their stakes in the company, fearing a potential delisting of its shares, which caused the share price to crash to an all-time low in July before rebounding recently by double digits.

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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.

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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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Billionaire Robert Smith’s Vista to acquire Avalara business software for $8.4 billion

Smith directs Vista’s investment strategy.

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Robert Smith.

Avalara Inc., a leading tax compliance automation provider for businesses, has agreed to be bought by Vista Equity Partners for $8.4 billion.

Vista Equity Partners is a leading global investment firm led by America’s richest Black person, Robert Smith.

The transaction received unanimous approval from the Avalara board of directors and is expected to close in the second half of 2022, subject to customary closing conditions such as shareholder and regulatory approval.

Under the terms of the deal, Vista will acquire all outstanding shares of Avalara common stock for $93.50 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at $8.4 billion, including Avalara’s net debt.

According to a source familiar with the situation, Vista has secured a total of $2.5 billion in loans from private lenders as part of the move to bring in institutional investors as co-investors.

The purchase price represents a 27-percent premium over the company’s closing share price on July 6, the last trading day prior to the announcement of the deal.

“For nearly two decades, Avalara has ambitiously pursued its vision of automating global compliance, making tax less taxing for businesses and governments around the world,” Avalara Co-Founder and CEO Scott McFarlane said.

“As a category leader, we believe that continuing to invest in innovation and experience is exciting for our customers, partners, and employees,” he said. “We are excited to work with Vista and will benefit from their enterprise software expertise as we build and improve our cloud compliance platform.”

After the conclusion of the deal, Avalara shares will no longer trade on the New York Stock Exchange. Avalara will become a private company managed by Vista.

Smith has an $8-billion stake in Vista and directs its investment strategy.

He also serves on its executive committee, the company’s governing and decision-making body for all matters affecting overall management and strategic direction. He has supervised more than 570 completed transactions, with a total transaction value of more than $265 billion.

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