South African and Nigerian head billionaire list in Africa.
South Africa lost almost 4 000 dollar millionaires in the past year.
South Africa might have its fair share of dollar billionaires, but the country still shed 4 000 dollar millionaires last year as the rand plunged against the dollar.
This emerges from two wealth surveys that came out this week, which reveal the state of the country’s richest people.
The first was a rich list compiled by Africa Ventures for Forbes magazine.
This showed that Africa has 55 dollar billionaires — more than previously thought— with most of them living in Nigeria and South Africa.
The Forbes list put the fortune of Africa’s billionaires at nearly $145-billion.
South Africa’s wealthiest man is a particularly private person: Allan Gray, the Bermuda-based founder of the Cape Town asset manager of the same name. According to the Forbes list, his assets amount to $8.5-billion — which makes him the secondrichest person on the continent.
The richest person in Africa is Aliko Dangote, a Nigerian who has interests in cement, food, oil and other industries and whose wealth is estimated at more than $20-billion.
Dangote is a beneficiary, the Financial Times argued, of the surge in energy prices over the past decade as oil jumped from $20/barrel in 2000 to more than $100/barrel.
The list of African billionaires now rivals that of Latin America, which Forbes said was home to 51 super-rich. Asia, which includes fast-growing China, has 399 dollar billionaires.
The Financial Times said the surge in energy prices helped drive the increase in Africa’s super wealthy.
The figures on the numerous rich lists that come out every year vary considerably.
The Forbes list contrasts with the Sunday Times rich list, which uses listed holdings as the basis for its analysis and names the wealthiest people as Patrice Motsepe, Christo Wiese and Nicky Oppenheimer.
Those three still came out strongly on the Forbes list.
Nicky Oppenheimer is in fifth place with a fortune of $6.5billion and Johann Rupert is in sixth place with $6.1-billion.
Natie Kirsh is in ninth place with $3.6-billion. He is described as a citizen of Swaziland.
In 10th place is Christo Wiese with $3.4-billion.
The position of the superwealthy contrasts dramatically with those who live in poverty.
The World Bank estimates that the number of Africans living below the poverty line — measured as $1.25 a day — has fallen significantly because of strong economic growth, dropping to 48.5% in 2010, down from 58% in 1999.
However, the concern voiced recently by the Financial Times was that the Afrobarometer survey, which polled more than 50 000 people in 34 countries, suggested that much of the recent strong economic growth in Africa was benefiting only a small elite.
Slightly further down the wealth ladder, things weren’t quite as peachy.
The Credit Suisse global wealth report released this week that showed that South Africa lost almost 5 000 dollar millionaires in the past year, as the rand fell against the dollar.
Last year, South Africa had 47 000 dollar millionaires. This has dropped to 43 000.
Altogether, the Credit Suisse survey found that 62 000 South Africans are among the top 1% of global wealth holders. This is slightly down from last year.
South Africa’s household wealth per adult tripled from $8 400 in 2000 to $25 800 in 2007.
Since then, progress has stalled, weighed down by the decline in the rand’s strength against the dollar.
SA is unusual in that it is a developing market with a very well-developed equity market and household wealth is largely made up of financial assets such as insurance products and shares.
In most emerging countries such as Indonesia, the lion’s share of wealth is made up of property. And the value of property has been going up sharply and quickly.
Credit Suisse Research Institute’s Michael O’ Sullivan said that South Africa had not had a property boom to the same extent as some other emerging markets.
The Credit Suisse report showed that global household wealth increased 4.9% to $241trillion, marked by a resurgence of wealth in the eurozone.
Switzerland has the highest average wealth, with a new high of $513 000 per adult.
But the good news is that globally, people’s wealth is set to grow by nearly 40% in the next five years, reaching $334-trillion by 2018, says the report.
Emerging markets such as South Africa will be the biggest beneficiaries of this, as they increase their share of the entire pot of global wealth to 23% by 2018.
China alone is expected to represent more than 10% of that by then.
The US is expected to remain the undisputed leader in terms of aggregate wealth, with total net worth approaching $100-trillion by 2018.
Although people talk about South Africa as the world’s most unequal country, this accolade actually belongs to Russia, with a gini coefficient value of 93.1%.
This is followed by Kazakhstan at 86.7%, Lebanon at 86.3%, Zimbabwe at 83.8% and South Africa at 83.6%.
The number of millionaires worldwide is to increase by about 16 million to 47 million by 2018.
Article Source: Sunday TimesSource: Sunday Times
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