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Report: 16 Wealthy Kenyans axed from ultra-rich list by covid-19



A report compiled by Knight Frank has seen sixteen wealthy Kenyans dropped from the list of Kenyan billionaires with the demotion being blamed on the covid 19 pandemic that has ravaged businesses across the globe.

According to the Knight Frank Wealth Report, Kenyans with a net worth of at least $30 million (Sh3.3 billion) shrank from 106 in 2019 but there still hopes that it will grow to 110 by 2025 if the pandemic is defeated to allow full reopening of economies.

African billionaires have been the most affected by the pandemic with up to 88% of the respondents including financial institutions saying that covid-19 still remains their biggest threat.

The pandemic has resulted to serious corporate losses, lay offs and  freezing of dividends in firms owned by the ultra-rich Kenyans. Nairobi Security Exchange for instance saw bear run in 2020 due to depreciated property prices which due to the lock downs and travel restrictions among other rules to stem covid-19.

Equity Bank CEO Dr James Mwangi [p/courtesy]

The report further reveals that the measure of the investor wealth fell by Sh220 billion while the NSE All Share Index went down by 9.28 % between January and December 30 when the blue chip NSE 20 share Index also shed by by 30.19 %.

Kenya is ranked fourth among African countries with individuals with more than Sh3 billion. Nigeria tops the list with 867 super rich people followed by South Africa (742) and Egypt with 583.

But the Knight Frank wealth report feared being dragged in the ongoing hustler vs the dynasty debate and therefore did not name any individual but hinted at the families of former presidents Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel arap Moi and the late powerful minister Nicholas Biwott as some of the country’s ultra rich.

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Billionaire Chris Kirubi who is among top Kenyan investors who recorded losses at the NSE last year is still boasting of a net worth of over Sh 3 billion even after the market value of his 30%  stake in Centum Investment shed by close to Sh2 billion. His stake is now worth sh3.4 billion after he bought an additional 5.7 million shares.

Dr James Mwangi of Equity Bank also suffered a loss of Sh2.6 billion with many billionaires also recording paper losses running into hundreds of millions of shillings from their listed equities portfolio with the lender.

The wealth report shows that other billionaires who suffered losses with the lender like James Ndegwa, Andrew Ndegwa,  Baloobhai Patel, James Ndegwa and John Kibunga Kimani are still listed in the club of ultra-rich.


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