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The 15 richest people on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius

With a near $9-billion market capitalization, the Stock Exchange of Mauritius is one of Africa’s most vibrant.

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Mauritian businessman Arnaud Lagesse.

With a market capitalization of close to $9 billion and more than 170 equity listings, the Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM) is one of the most vibrant in Africa. It is also where many of Mauritius’ ultra-high net-worth individuals store significant portions of their fortunes through equity stakes in their own and other companies, which they typically hold via both direct and indirect investments. Based on figures derived from investment agencies, the latest annual reports and confirmations from capital market registrars, these are the 15 richest people who own stocks listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius.

Billionaires.Africa lists individuals rather than multigenerational families who share large fortunes, but in cases where ownership breakdown among siblings and couples aren’t clear, we attribute the fortune to the most visible-prominent member of the family. The value of their shares is based on prices at the end of trading on Aug. 20, and valuations are converted to U.S. dollars at current exchange rates.

#1 Arnaud Lagesse & family

Net worth on SEM: $130.4 million

Holdings: Ireland Blyth Limited (IBL)

Arnaud Lagesse is the CEO of Ireland Blyth Limited (IBL Group), a family-controlled business that has been in existence for close to two centuries. IBL is Mauritius’ largest conglomerate with more than $900 million in annual revenues. Through its subsidiaries, it engages in the agro and energy, building and engineering, commercial and distribution, financial, hospitality, life and technologies, logistics, seafood, and properties businesses. Lagesse and his brothers Benoit, Hugues, Jean-Pierre, Thierry and Stephane own a joint ownership stake of 16.81 percent of the group’s total issued ordinary shares. The stake is worth $130.4 million.

#2 Desmond de Beer

Net worth on SEM: $80.04 million

Holdings: Lighthouse Capital

Property tycoon Desmond de Beer was a founder of Resilient REIT Limited, a South African Real Estate Investment Trust, where he has served as CEO since listing in 2002. He was also a founder of New Europe Property Investments Plc and its successor NEPI Rockcastle Plc. He is the largest individual shareholder of Lighthouse Capital Limited, a company that invests globally in direct property in developed and developing markets, as well as listed real estate and infrastructure securities. He owns a 13.71-percent stake in Lighthouse Capital – a stake that is worth $80,044,840

#3 Barry Stuhler

Net worth on SEM: $36.7 million

Holdings: Lighthouse Capital

South African-born Barry Stuhler is a chartered accountant who a 6.29-percent stake in Lighthouse Capital worth $36,726,456. He is the managing director at Capital Property Fund in South Africa.

#4 Norbert Dentressangle 

Net worth on SEM: $24,227,818

Holdings: CIEL, Sun Mauritius

French billionaire Norbert Dentressangle, who built his fortune in transport and logistics, owns a 5.11-percent stake in CIEL worth $11.983 million – as well as a 17.32-percent stake in Sun Mauritius worth $12.24 million.

#5 Chian Ah Teck

Net worth on SEM: $23,678,632

Holdings: Gamma Civic, Lottotech

Chian Tat Ah Teck is the executive chairman of Gamma Civic. He was previously managing director of the company from 1987 to January 2011. Gamma Civic is an investment holding. It operates in the following sectors: building materials, contracting, investments, lottery and corporate services. Chian Ah Teck owns a 6.93-percent stake in Gamma Civic worth $9,253,664.45 and also owns a 19.6-percent stake in Lottotech worth $14,424,968.

#6 Dominic Galea

Net worth on SEM: $22,827,748

Holdings: Mauritius Union Assurance Company, United Docks

Dominique Galea is chairman at Mauritius Union Assurance Company where he owns a 15.75-percent stake worth $21.1 million. He also owns 6.6 percent of United Docks, a leading real estate developer that owns around 100,000 square meters of prime freehold land in Port-Louis.

#7 Louis Boulle

Net worth on SEM: $18.4 million

Holdings: Ireland Blyth Limited (IBL Group)

Louis Gaetan-Jan-Fredrik Boulle is a prominent boardroom guru who serves on dozens of corporate boards in Mauritius. He is the chairman of Ireland Blyth Limited (IBL Group), where he owns a 2.33-percent stake worth $18.33 million. He also owns 0.05 percent in Lux Island resorts worth $58,925.53

#8 P. Arnaud Dalais

Net worth on SEM: $18.6 million

Holdings: Ciel Group

The Mauritian businessman is non-executive chairman of Ciel Group, one of the island nation’s largest business conglomerates. He owns an 8.02-percent stake in CIEL.

#9 Jean-Pierre Dalais

Net worth on SEM: $11.9 million

Holdings: Ciel Group

A member of the Dalais family, the controlling shareholders of the Ciel Group, Jean-Pierre Dalais owns a 5.46-percent stake in the company worth $11.9 million.

#10 Pierre De Speville

Net worth on SEM: $14,927,013

Holdings: Pierre De Speville holds a 12.83-percent stake in Medine, a Mauritian conglomerate with interests in agro, leisure, property, and education.

#11 Pierre-Emile Latour

Net worth on SEM: $14,594,674

Holdings: Pierre-Emile Latour holds a 10.89-percent shareholding in Mauritius Union Assurance Company, worth $14,594,674.03

#12 Timothy Taylor

Net worth on SEM: $12,164,585

Holdings: Timothy Taylor holds a 9.27-percent stake in Cim Financial Services, a non-banking deposit-taking institution that avails individual consumers, SMEs and large corporates with financial services such as consumer finance, credit cards, forex, leasing and factoring.

#13 Vincent Ah-Chuen

Net worth on SEM: $6,698,653

Holdings: Vincent Ah-Chuen holds a 16.41-percent stake in ABC Motors, a Mauritian company that markets, distributes and repairs automobiles; a 1.13-percent stake in Mauritius Union Assurance Company and a 25.04-percent stake in P.O.L.I.C.Y Limited, an investment company in Mauritius.

#14 Cyril How Kin Sang

Net worth on SEM: $9,284,305

Holdings: Cyril How Kin Sang holds a 6.94-percent stake in Gamma Civic, an investment holding company.

#15 Pierre-Guy Noel

Net worth on SEM: $9,062,745

Holdings: Pierre-Guy Noel is the CEO of MCB, one of Mauritius’ largest banking groups. He owns a 0.55-percent stake in the company.

Mfonobong Nsehe contributed to this report. Send comments to: news@billionaires.africa.

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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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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