THE SUPER RICH

Harsh economy: More Kenyans join billionaires' club

In Summary

• Kenyans with a net-worth of over Sh3 billion grew by 11.7 per cent.

• Billionaires wealth is held in real estate and other luxury assets such as yachts, aeroplanes, cars, jewellery and art.

A bundle of money. Photo/file
A bundle of money. Photo/file

As the majority of Kenyans feel the pinch of hard economic times, the population of the country’s billionaires continues to expand.

A report dubbed  “World Ultra Wealth Report of 2018”, the sixth edition from Wealth-X firm, reveals that Kenyans with a net-worth of over Sh3 billion grew by 11.7 per cent.

This means a new member joined the billionaires club in 2017 from every 10 billionaires in 2016.

Kenya also stands as the top country where the population of the super-rich grows fastest.

No actual figure of the ultra-rich is given for Kenya, which has in the past five years ranked among the countries that are creating the super-rich at the highest rate.

Amid hard times, this is what the billionaires could do for the country.

Should one billionaire feel philanthropic enough, then they have the resources to bail out the University of Nairobi and Kenyatta University, which have accumulated a debt of close to Sh4.8 billion.

In Africa, a combined 2,490 people have an accumulated wealth of Sh30.5 trillion which can finance at least the Kenyan budget for about 10 years.

The report reveals that the majority of the billionaires’ wealth is held in real estate and other luxury assets such as yachts, aeroplanes, cars, jewellery and art.

The Kenyans, the report shows, are investing an estimated 30 per cent of their wealth outside the country.  Britain is their preferred destination.

“The private aviation market is currently in flux, with high-end charter flights becoming an increasingly popular alternative to private jet ownership for ultra-wealthy individuals,” the report reads.

The finance, banking and investment accounted for 14.2% share of the billionaires’ investment.

The number of ultra-wealthy women was just under 35,000.

(Edited by O. Owino)