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The 20 richest Kenyan investors on the Nairobi Stock Exchange

The Nairobi Stock Exchange is the most vibrant bourse in the East African region.

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Kenyan businessman Andrew Ndegwa.

The Nairobi Stock Exchange is the most vibrant bourse in the East African region. The exchange currently has 66 listed companies, two of which are cross-listed from Rwanda and Uganda. Its market capitalization currently stands at 2.85 trillion shillings ($25.9 billion).

Many of Kenya’s richest people 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 twenty richest people who own stocks listed on the Nairobi Stock Exchange. 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.

James Mwangi

Net worth on the NSE: $65.2 million

Holdings: Equity Group Holdings, Britam Holdings

James Mwangi is the group managing director and CEO of Equity Group Holdings, one of Kenya’s largest financial services companies. He owns a 3.38-percent stake in Equity Group Holdings worth $59.54 million, and also owns 2.97 percent of Britam Holdings.

Zarin Merali and family

Net worth on the NSE: $57.8 million

Holdings: Sasini Tea, NCBA, Sameer Africa, Eveready East Africa

Zarin Merali, the widow of the late Kenyan businessman Naushad Merali who passed in July, now controls one of the most valuable portfolios on the Nairobi Stock Exchange. Through private investment vehicles Legend Investments Limited, Yana Towers Limited and East Africa Batteries Limited, she owns a 65.46-percent stake in Sasini Tea worth $27.2 million. She also owns a 5.9-percent stake in commercial bank NCBA through Yana Investments – a stake valued at $23.7 million. Other assets include 74.06 percent of tyre distributor Sameer Africa worth $6.2 million and a 35-percent stake in battery company Eveready East Africa, worth $657,849.

Jane Wangui Njuguna  

Net worth on the NSE: $31.08 million

Holdings: Equity Group Holdings

Jane Wangui Njuguna, the wife of Equity Group CEO James Mwangi, owns a 1.71-percent stake in the bank worth $31.08 million.

Suresh Bhagwanji R. Shah, MBS

Net worth on the NSE: $34.9 million

Holdings: I&M Holdings

Suresh Bhagwanji R. Shah is the founder and chairman of I&M Bank, the precursor to I&M Holdings, one of Kenya’s leading banking groups, with additional operations in Tanzania, Rwanda and Mauritius. He founded the bank in 1974 and over a period of 4.5 decades oversaw the growth of I&M to a tier-1 lender from tier 3. He retired in April this year, but still owns 10.8 percent of the financial services group through holding companies and trusts. His stake is worth $34,992,050.

Baloobhai and Amarjeet Patel

Net worth on the NSE: $31.06 million

The Kenyan couple is one of the most prolific investors on the Nairobi Stock Exchange. They jointly own 0.78 percent of the commercial bank Absa Kenya – a stake worth $3.8 million, and a 1.45-percent stake in Bamburi Cement worth $2.45 million. They also own 40.38 percent of Carbacid Investments, which is worth $11.73 million, and 0.54 percent of Co-operative Bank worth $3,955,426. Other assets include 56.11 percent of Sanlam Kenya worth $8,532,160 and a 2.86-percent stake in Williamson Tea Kenya worth $599,084.

Holdings: Absa Kenya, Bamburi Cement, Carbacid Investments, Co-operative Bank,

John Kibunga Kimani

Net worth on the NSE: $33.4 million

Holdings: Kakuzi, Centum, Nation Media Group

Kenyan investor John Kibunga Kimani owns a 32.30-percent stake in Kakuzi, an agricultural company, worth $23,816,832. Other assets include 16.2 million shares in telecom company Safaricom worth $7.1million; 1.21 percent of the investment company Centum worth $1.14 million and a 2.99-percent stake in Nation Media Group worth $1.418 million

Andrew S.M Ndegwa

Net worth on the NSE: $16.4 million

Holdings: NCBA

Andrew Ndegwa, an Oxford graduate, is an executive director of First Chartered Securities Limited, an investment company founded by his father Philip Ndegwa, who was the former governor of the Central Bank of Kenya. Ndegwa is a non-executive director of NCBA, a leading financial services group, and owns 4.30 percent of the company.  His shares have a current value of $16.4 million.

Gideon Maina Muriuki  

Net worth on the NSE: $16.3 million

Holdings: Co-operative Bank of Kenya ; CIC Insurance

Gideon Maina Muriuki is the long-serving CEO of the Co-operative Bank of Kenya and owns a 1.75-percent stake in the bank worth $12.8 million. He also has a 4.7-percent shareholding in CIC Insurance worth $3.55 million.

James Ndegwa

Net worth on the NSE: $15.5 million

Holdings: NCBA

James Ndegwa, also a son of former Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya Philip Ndegwa, is a prominent business tycoon and the chairman of First Chartered Securities — a family-owned holding company with assets spanning real estate, banking, milling and insurance. James Ndegwa owns a 4.10-percent stake in NCBA worth $15.5 million.

Jimnah Mbaru

Net worth on the NSE: $14.7 million

Holdings: Britam Holdings

Kenyan investment banker Jimnah Mbaru, who is the founder of Dyer & Blair, owns a 7.72-percent stake in Britam Holdings worth $14.7 million.

Jane Wanjiru Michuki

Net worth on the NSE: $13.3 million

Holdings: Britam Holdings

Kenyan lawyer Jane Wanjiru Michuki owns a 7.1-percent stake in Britam Holdings worth $13.3 million. She is the founder of Kimani & Michuki Advocates, a corporate law firm based in Nairobi whose client list includes Equity Group Holdings Limited.

Benson Wairegi

Net worth on the NSE: $7.71 million

Holdings: Britam Holdings

Benson Wairegi, Britam’s long-serving CEO, joined the company in 1981 as a chief accountant. He rose through the ranks to become CEO in 1995, a position he held for 26 years until his retirement this year. Wairegi is credited with building Britam from a small home insurance provider into its current position as a regional leader in the insurance and financial services sector. He owns a 4.02-percent stake in Britam Holdings worth $7.71 million

Sarit S. Raja-Shah

Net worth on the NSE:  $7.05 million

Holdings: I&M Holdings

Sarit S. Raja-Shah, a Kenyan national, is an executive director at  I&M Holdings, a leading financial services group. He owns a 2.05-percent stake in I&M worth $7.05 million.

Sachit S. Raja-Shah

Net worth on the NSE: $6.98 million

Holdings: I&M Holdings

Sachit Shah is a son of Suresh Bhagwanji R. Shah, the founder of I & M Holdings, a $350-million (market capitalization) Kenyan banking group. Sachit Shah, an executive director of GA Insurance Limited, joined the company’s board in July 2015. He owns 2.03 percent of I&M.

Sandip Kana Sinh Babla & Alka Sandip Babla

Net worth on the NSE: $11.9 million

Holdings: KCB Group

Serial investors Sandip Kana Sinh Babla & Alka Sandip Babla own a combined 0.9-percent stake in KCB Group worth $11.9 million.

Peter Munga

Net worth on the NSE: $5.7 million

Holdings: Britam Holdings

Peter Munga, a prominent Kenyan businessman, is the founder of Equity Building Society, the microfinance bank that eventually became Equity Bank, one of East Africa’s largest financial institutions. Munga is also one of the largest shareholders in the East African insurer Britam Holdings where he owns a 2.97-percent stake worth $5.7 million.

Gulamali Ismail

Net worth on the NSE: $3.6 million

Holdings: Sasini Tea

Gulamali Ismail owns 7.92 percent of Sasini Tea worth $3.2 million and also owns a 2.68-percent stake in the media company Standard Group worth $401,222

Desterio Oyatsi

Net worth on the NSE: $2.4 million

Holdings: NCBA

Desterio Oyatsi is a lawyer to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and the extended Kenyatta family. He personally owns a 0.65-percent stake in the financial services group NCBA. His stake is worth $2,473,286. The Kenyatta family is the largest shareholder in NCBA through their holding company, Enke Investments.

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

East Africa

Kenyan banking magnate James Mwangi loses more than $6 million in June

Mwangi’s loss comes on the heels of a reduced appetite for emerging market shares.

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Kenyan banking magnate. James Mwangi.

James Mwangi, a Kenyan multimillionaire banking magnate, recorded a Ksh715.7-million ($6.07-million) loss on his Equity Group stake in June amid a market-wide sell-off on the Nairobi Securities Exchange, as shares in the Kenyan banking group finished the first half of 2022 with a significant decline.

Mwangi’s multimillion-dollar loss in his Equity Group stake comes on the heels of a reduced appetite for emerging market shares after central banks in developed markets raised interest rates in an effort to curb the surge in inflation caused by increases in energy and food prices.

Equity Group Holdings Limited, the largest financial services group in East Africa, is the second most valuable company on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), with a market capitalization of Ksh151 billion ($1.28 billion), accounting for about 7.88 percent of the NSE’s total share capitalization.

Mwangi, who was instrumental in the growth and transformation of Equity Group, Kenya’s leading financial services provider, owns a sizable 3.38-percent stake in the company, totaling 127,809,180 shares.

Equity Group shares on the local bourse have fallen from a price of Ksh45.5 ($0.386) at the start of June to Ksh39.9 ($0.339) at the time of writing this report, resulting in a 12.3-percent loss for shareholders in just 30 days.

As a result of the double-digit decline in the group’s shares since the start of June, the market value of Mwangi’s stake has decreased by Ksh715.73 million ($6.07 million), from Ksh5.81 billion ($49.36 million) on June 1 to Ksh5.1 billion ($43.28 million) on June 30.

Equity Group shares have fallen by 24.36 percent since 2022 began, as investors continue to sell their holdings in the group despite it reporting a 36percent increase in profit from Ksh8.7 billion ($74.9 million) in the first quarter of 2021 to Ksh11.9 billion ($102.4 million) in the same period of 2022.

This follows the lender’s record-high profit of Ksh40.1 billion ($350.2 billion) in 2021, which boosted its financial position and resulted in the payment of a dividend to shareholders amounting to Ksh11.3 billion ($97.25 million).

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East Africa

Kenyan businessman Paul Ndung’u takes legal action over control of SportPesa assets

The move comes nearly two years after the SportPesa brand was relaunched.

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Kenyan businessman Paul Ndung’u.

Paul Ndung’u, a Kenyan businessman and executive, has taken legal action to join the ongoing court case to determine control over assets related to SportPesa, including the trademark and Web domains.

The Kenyan businessman’s move to determine control of assets related to the gaming platform comes nearly two years after the SportPesa brand was relaunched under Milestone, a group controlled by Ronald Karauri and other investors linked to Pevans East Africa, the defunct holding company that pioneered betting in Kenya through the SportPesa brand.

Pevans East Africa ceased operations in 2019 after losing its license for alleged non-payment of taxes totaling Ksh95 billion ($806.5 million) and concerns about increased gambling addiction.

Some of Pevans’ founders, including Karauri, relaunched the sports betting brand, prompting legal action from partners, most notably Asenath Wachera Maina, the largest Kenyan stockholder in the defunct holding company, who accused Karauri of an illegal takeover through Milestone Games.

While participating in the case that will determine the fate of SportPesa’s core assets, Ndung’u revealed that, in addition to being excluded from ownership of Milestone, which now operates the SportPesa brand, his stake in the multinational Sportpesa Global Holdings Limited (SPGHL), which owns gaming subsidiaries in key markets like Tanzania and the United Kingdom, has been diluted.

In an affidavit, Ndung’u said Karauri and Robert Macharia have interests in both Milestone and Pevans, but chose to take actions that are detrimental to the latter without disclosing their conflict of interest to the court.

Since its inception in Kenya more than six years ago, SportPesa, a leading sports news and betting technology company with operations in Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Nigeria, Italy, Ireland, and the Isle of Man, has grown into a global gaming company with more than 500 employees and offices in six countries.

According to court documents presented by Ndung’u, the brand, which was built through heavy marketing and sports sponsorship by Pevans at a cost of more than Ksh5 billion ($42.4 million), experienced massive growth prior to the cancellation of its operating license in 2019.

Before its operating license was revoked in 2019, Pevans had distributed to partners a total of Ksh7.6 billion ($64.5 million) of its profit of Ksh12.9 billion ($109.5 million) over the previous four and a half years to June 2019.

During the 4.5-year period, Karauri and Ndung’u received dividends totaling Ksh1.835 billion ($15.8 million).

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East Africa

Court of Appeal blocks sale of real estate assets owned by Ugandan magnate Patrick Bitature

The decision comes at a crucial time for Bitature.

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Ugandan magnate Patrick Bitature.

The Court of Appeal in Kampala, Uganda’s capital city, has once again blocked the advertisement and auctioning of four prime properties owned by Ugandan magnate Patrick Bitature.

The auctioning was spurred by a $30-million loan dispute between the leading businessman and Johannesburg-based Africa-focused fund manager, Vantage Capital.

The injunction issued by Christopher Gashibarake, the sitting judge at the Court of Appeal, comes after the Commercial Division of Uganda’s High Court denied an earlier application by entities owned by Bitature to prevent the sale of his properties held under Simba Properties Investment and Simba Telecom.

The recent Court of Appeal decision in the long-running loan dispute comes at a crucial time for Bitature, who has been at odds with Vantage Capital after the Africa-focused fund manager threatened to auction off his real estate empire in Kampala.

The 30-unit Elizabeth Royal Apartments in Kololo, the Skyz Hotel in Naguru, and the Moyo Close Apartments in Kololo, a residential and commercial neighborhood in Kampala, are part of the Ugandan magnate’s Kampala real estate empire.

What began as a promising partnership in 2014, when Bitature received $10 million from Vantage Capital to invest in the Moyo Close Apartments and Skyz Hotel in Naguru, has quickly devolved into an estranged alliance, with reports claiming that the businessman has yet to repay the lender.

Companies associated with Bitature are also embroiled in a separate legal battle with Absa Bank over a multimillion-dollar loan.

When confronted with the repayment of the $10-million loan that he obtained from Vantage Capital, which has tripled in value to about $30 million after interest, charges, and penalties, Bitature said difficulties arising from delays in Uganda’s oil and gas sector undermined his ability to repay.

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