3 of Indian-origin among Africa’s 50 richest: Forbes

NEW YORK, Nov 14:  Three persons of Indian-origin are among the 50 richest people in Africa, according to a list released by Forbes magazine which said rising stock prices and new business deals are creating more billionaires in the continent.
Vimal Shah, Sudhir Ruparelia and Naushad Merali figure in the list which has been topped by Aliko Dangote who has a networth of USD 20.8 billion and is the largest cement manufacturer in sub-Saharan Africa.
Shah is a newcomer on the list and ranks 18 with a networth of USD 1.6 billion as of November 2013.
The 53-year-old Asian-Kenyan is the CEO of Bidco Oil Refineries, the largest manufacturer of edible oils in East and Central Africa, and manufactures detergents, soaps, baking powder and canola, as well as other edible oils.
In 1985, Shah, his father and younger brother started manufacturing soaps and in 2002, acquired a significant portion of Unilever’s edible oil businesses.
Bidco grossed over USD 500 million in annual revenues and its products are manufactured, sold and distributed in 14 countries across Africa.
Ruparelia ranks 24 on the list and has a networth of USD 1.1 billion.
The 57-year-old chairs the Ruparelia Group, a Ugandan property and banking conglomerate that owns hundreds of Ugandan properties, hotels, a chain of foreign exchange bureaus, a business that grows and exports roses and Crane  Bank, the country’s third-largest commercial bank.
Ruparelia is however facing some legal troubles after Ugandan environmentalists sued his rose business claiming the farm’s activities were threatening the world’s largest freshwater lake.
Ruparelia has denied any wrongdoing.
On the 48th spot is Merali with a networth of USD 430 million.
The 62-year-old Asian-Kenyan tycoon is the founder of the Sameer Group, a conglomerate with activities in construction, agriculture, information technology, telecom and finance.
Merali also serves as chairman of mobile phone major Bharti Airtel’s Kenya operations.
The list is Forbes’ third annual compilation of Africa’s richest.
The average networth of each list member is USD 2.1 billion and the total wealth of Africa’s 50 richest is USD 103.8 billion.
The number of 10-figure fortunes in Africa has surged to 27, up from 16 a year ago, on the back of rising stock prices and new business deals.
Forbes calculated networths using stock prices and exchange rates as on November 1 this year. (PTI)


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