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WorldRemit founder Ismail Ahmed commits $500 million to philanthropy in Somaliland

WorldRemit founder Ismail Ahmed has launched a $500-million fund to support education, healthcare and infrastructure development in his native Somaliland.

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Illustration: Somaliland. ©Billionaires.Africa

WorldRemit founder Ismail Ahmed has launched a $500-million (Sh54.2 billion) fund to support education, healthcare and infrastructure development in his native Somaliland. The fund will launch under his Sahamiye Foundation.

In a statement, Ahmed said: “Over the next ten years, my ambition is to be able to commit $500 million of my own wealth and investments to Somaliland-focused development programs.”

The fund will initially focus on doubling the country’s literacy rate from 45 to 90 percent by 2023, The Star reported

The initiative is similar to the Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa Initiative recently launched by Nigerian billionaire Abdul Samad Rabiu, which also focuses on education, healthcare, and infrastructure development in Nigeria and throughout the African continent. 

Through the initiative, the Sahamiye Foundation will help Somaliland move past “traditional models of donor funding and towards a more entrepreneurial, scale-up approach,” Fintech Future cited the company as stating.

Ahmed added that diaspora remittances have grown significantly in Somaliland since 2010 when the foundation first launched, by 15 percent alone in 2020 to $1.3 billion.

Diaspora remittances are a core revenue source for Somaliland. Many people who live in the dysfunctional state rely on money sent from overseas to support their families.

“Interest from international inward investors in Somaliland is increasing, and we believe that there is now a real opportunity to help foster the potential for significant economic growth, in a way that benefits communities across the country,” Ahmed said.

Ahmed is an economist and founder of World Remit, a cross-border digital payments service that provides international money transfer and remittance services in more than 130 countries and over 70 currencies. 

As of 2018, World Remit was valued at $670 million, CNBC reported.

Somaliland is a self-proclaimed independent nation within Somalia, which no country or international organization has recognized. This makes nearly impossible access to international funds and leaves the country largely reliant on external benefactors.

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Egypt’s Ghabbour family gains $15.8 million in 11 days as shares in GB Auto rebound

The wealthy Ghabbour family holds a majority 62.9-percent stake in the leading auto manufacturer.

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Businessman Raouf Ghabbour.

Egypt’s Ghabbour family has gained EGP247.73 million ($15.8 million) in the past 11 days from their stake in GB Auto.

GB Auto is an Egyptian manufacturer of automobiles, buses, trucks and motorcycles founded by   Kamal and Sadek Ghabbour in 1960. Since then, the company has grown into the largest automobile manufacturer in Egypt under the Ghabbour Group.

The wealthy Ghabbour family holds a majority 62.9-percent stake in the leading auto manufacturer.

The recent gain in the market value of their stake can be linked to the performance of the company’s shares in the past 11 days as investors renewed interest in the automaker after its share price on the Egyptian Stock Exchange plummeted below EGP3.7 ($0.232) per share.

Data retrieved by Billionaires.Africa revealed that shares in the Egypt-based automaker were worth EGP4.01 ($0.255) per share as of press time, Dec. 4, 282-basis points higher than their opening price for the week.

As a result of the renewed buying interest in the automaker, its stock price soared by 10 percent from a valuation of EGP3.65 ($0.232) per share on Nov. 22, to a price of EGP4.01 ($0.255) per share as of the time of writing.

Meanwhile, the market value of the Ghabbour family’s stake in the automaker increased from EGP2.51 billion ($159.91 million) to EGP2.76 billion ($175.69 million), accruing total gains of EGP247.73 million ($15.8 million) for the family in 11 days.

So far this year, the valuation of GB Auto and the market value of the family’s stake in the company is up by nearly 21 percent.

The company’s stock performance in 2021 can be linked to its robust financial performance during the year.

Figures contained in its first-nine-month financial report for 2021 revealed that its revenue rose by 39 percent to EGP22.4 billion, while its net income increased by 59.8 percent to EgP1.01 billion.

The robust performance can be linked to the benefits that the company reaped from operational efficiency initiatives, operational leverage from higher revenues and the overall improved demand in the period.

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Egyptian billionaire Yasseen Mansour’s Palm Hills closes seventh securitization bond

The issuance was fully underwritten and co-arranged by several banks, including National Bank of Egypt.

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Egyptian billionaire Yasseen Mansour.

Leading Egyptian real estate group Palm Hills Development has finished its seventh securitization bond issuance program of about EGP1.1 billion ($70 million), which was launched as a means to cover operating activities and working capital requirements.

According to Zawya, the issuance was fully underwritten and co-arranged by several banks, including National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, Misr Capital, Commercial International Bank — Egypt and Ahli United Bank — Egypt.

The securitization bond issuance was launched and completed with Sarwa Capital, a subsidiary of Contact Financial Holding, the largest non-bank financial services provider in Egypt.

This comes nearly six months after the real estate group completed its sixth securitization bond program for a gross receivables portfolio of EGP1.2 billion ($76.4 million).

The latest bond issuance program, backed by its receivables portfolio of around EGP 1.05 billion, will be deployed to cover core operating activities and working capital requirements. 

According to a bourse filing on Thursday, the leading real estate group revealed that the bonds are related to 331 handed-over residential units.

Egyptian billionaire Yasseen Mansour, the chairman of the real estate group, said the bond program will take the group’s securitized receivables portfolio to EGP 6.2 billion ($394.6 million). This is up from EGP5.1 billion ($324.6 million) in June 2021.

“I am very pleased with the successful closing of our seventh securitization transaction, bringing our gross securitized receivables portfolio to EGP 6.2 billion ($394.6 million) since we started the programme back in 2016,” he said.

“We are pleased to successfully close the seventh securitization bond for Palm Hills Developments issued as part of the agreed securitization program in which we issued together around EGP4.6 billion,” Contact Financial Holding CFO Ayman El Sawy said.

The bond program aligns with Palm Hills’ plans to upscale its operations. The group recently unveiled plans to invest EGP3.8 billion ($242 million) in 2022 to cement its position in the real estate industry and unlock its value as a going concern. 

The management believes the strategic move will place Palm Hills in a favorable position to tap into gains in the real estate industry following the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of press time, Dec. 3, shares in the real estate group were trading at EGP1.79 ($0.114), 2.77-percent lower than their opening price on the Egyptian Stock Exchange this morning.

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Tunisian tycoon Moncef Mzabi loses $3.1 million in three months as ARTES stock slumps

ARTES is a Tunisia-based automobile retailer established after the acquisition of Renault Tunisie in 1997.

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Tunisian tycoon Moncef Mzabi.

Tunisian automobile tycoon Moncef Mzabi has seen the market value of his stake fall by more than N9.1 million ($3.16 million) in the past 91 days.

The multimillion-dollar loss is attributable to the performance of Automobile Reseau Tunisien and Services SA (ARTES) on the Tunis Exchange, as its shares slumped from record highs.

ARTES is a Tunisia-based automobile retailer established after the acquisition of Renault Tunisie in 1997 by Mzabi and his brothers Mzoughi and Sadok. The company competes with renowned automobile retailers such as Ennakl Automobiles and City Cars in Tunisia.

Aside from founding and having a governance role in the retailer, Mzabi and his brothers hold substantial stakes in ARTES, making them majority owners.

The recent decline in the market value of Mzabi’s stake can be linked to investor profit-taking and portfolio-rotation activities, which caused ARTES shares to slump by more than 13 percent.

As of press time, Dec. 3, shares in ARTES were trading at TND6.34 ($2.2), 1.44-percent higher than their opening price on Thurs., Dec. 2.

Since Sept. 3, its stock price has fallen from TND7.3 ($2.53) to TND6.34 ($2.2) as of the time of writing. This translates to a 13.2-percent loss for shareholders in 91 days.

As a result of the slump in the company’s share price, the market value of Mzabi’s position has fallen from TND79.25 million ($24 million) on Sept. 3 to TND60.14 million ($20.84 million), accruing total losses of TND9.11 million ($3.16 million) for the multimillionaire.

Despite the recent decline in the market value of his stake, Mzabi remains one of the richest investors on the Tunis Stock Exchange.

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