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Dangote’s Wealth Shrinks $2.6B Due to Naira’s Decline, Worst-Performing Currency

Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, has seen his wealth fall by $2.6 billion following a jump in April spurred by the Nigerian naira’s rise.

Dangote, founder and chairman of Dangote Group, Africa’s most diversified manufacturing and industrial conglomerate, is now worth $15.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The fall comes after a brief upswing in April, fuelled by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) efforts to handle a backlog of dollar liabilities, which boosted the naira. That rise increased Dangote’s wealth to $17.7 billion but was short-lived.Dangote’s fortune has been significantly reduced as the naira has become the world’s worst-performing currency.

Dangote’s net worth is at $15.1 billion, down $2.6 billion from its peak of $17.7 billion in April 2016. The earlier increase was spurred by a stronger naira as the CBN cleared a backlog of dollar-denominated commitments and reduced the interest rate differential.

However, the naira’s recent depreciation versus the US dollar has reversed Dangote’s year-to-date gains. From a high increase of more than $2.6 billion on April 16, his fortune has decreased to a meager $28 million.

This decline is mostly the result of the naira’s depreciation on his 86 percent share in publicly traded Dangote Cement, as well as his holdings in Dangote Sugar, Nascon Allied Industries, and United Bank for Africa.

Dangote Fertilizer, Dangote’s most valuable privately held asset with an annual production capacity of 2.8 million tonnes of urea, remains valued at $5.15 billion. It is one of his two most valuable assets, along with Dangote Cement, which is currently worth $6.7 billion.

The naira’s recent decline has fueled calls for the CBN to hike interest rates. The currency has fallen to a new low of 1,466.31 per dollar, dragged down by a scarcity of US dollars in the local market.

This volatility comes after Nigerian President Bola Tinubu relaxed foreign exchange rules in June. Since then, the naira has lost around 68% of its value against the greenback. This strengthens the probability of another interest rate hike by the CBN at its upcoming policy meeting on May 21.



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