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Dangote Loses Half His Fortune Due to Naira Depreciation

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Aliko Dangote calls his homeland Nigeria as “one of the best-kept secrets.” The 57-year-old billionaire, who reportedly lost $10.3 billion in the last one year, is Africa’s richest man.

According to Dangote, a lot of foreigners are not investing because they’re waiting for the right time. However, he believes that “there is no right time.” Dangote was worth $25 billion in 2014. However, he lost more than the half of his fortune and is worth much less at the moment. The owner of the “Dangote Group” suffered heavy loss due to a reduced demand for cement and the depreciation of the Naira. The Nigerian Naira is at 200 to the dollar.

Dangote is ranked 67th on the World’s Billionaires List with his $14.7 billion fortune which he has earned mostly from flour, sugar and cement companies. Nigeria now has three new billionaires. Economists believe that Nigeria is going to be one of the countries in the world with the fastest average annual GDP growth between 2010 and 2050.

Africa’s most populous country has more than 170 million people. The number is expected to rise to 210 million by 2020. Nigeria is expected to overtake the United States by2050. However, Dangote’s country has a majority of its people earning less than $1.25 a day. The country, with a median age is 18.3, has half of its population illiterate.

Dangote is the biggest loser among the richest people in Nigeria due to the depreciation in the Nigerian Naira. His stock prices fell and he lost more than $7.8 billion of his fortune since February. Dangote was worth $21.6 billion on Nov. 7, 2014. However, he lost $4.4 billion more in the next four months.

Many companies on the Nigerian Stock Exchange suffered disastrous outcomes in the last few weeks. Several companies like Dangote Cement, Transcorp, Zenith Bank and United Bank for Africa hit one-year-lows as oil prices fell. While large cap companies have had weak earnings, there is also a general uncertainty surrounding the 2015 general election in the country.

Africa’s largest manufacturer of cement, Dangote Cement, shed nearly 40 per cent of its market value since November. Dangote also lost more than $230 million in paper value on his stakes in publicly-traded Dangote Flour, Dangote Sugar and National Salt Company of Nigeria.

*Culled from International Business Times

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