‘Only’ 10 Kenyans are worth half a billion dollars


'Only' 10 Kenyans are worth half a billion dollars

In Summary

  • Out of the 1290 individuals, 90 are worth Ksh.5 billion ($50 million) or more while those with assets worth Ksh.50 billion ($500 million) or more do not exceed 10 in number.
  • Wealth in the country is however unequally distributed in terms of gender with only eight percent of women having representation amongst the 1,290 high net worth individuals in the country.

Individuals with at least Ksh.500 million in net assets in Kenya increased to 1,290 in 2017 up from 1,110 in 2016.

According to fresh data from the Knight Frank 2018 Wealth Report, out of the 1290 individuals, 90 are worth Ksh.5 billion ($50 million) or more while those with assets worth Ksh.50 billion ($500 million) or more do not exceed 10 in number.

Speaking during the launch of the 2018 Wealth Report, Knight Frank Wealth Report editor Andrew Shirley attributed the growth in number of high net worth individuals to a weakening dollar and a strengthen stock market in 2017.

“If you look over the past year wealth has increased all over the world including Africa, and over the past year the US dollar has eased in value helping create more wealth in dollar terms. Stock markets have also been strengthening increasing wealth of those investing in equity markets,” Mr Shirley said.

Retail and finance lead the way as Kenya’s main sources of wealth at 18 percent while non-profit and social organizations follow suit at nine percent with industrial conglomerates and manufacturing sources rounding of the list at 8 and 6 percent respectively.

Wealth in the country is however unequally distributed in terms of gender with only eight percent of women having representation amongst the 1,290 high net worth individuals in the country.

Mr Shirley however notes that the imbalance is likely to change.

“Interestingly its international women’s day today but of Kenya high net worth individuals only 8 percent of them are ladies, I imagine that would be changing quite soon,” he said.

The number of Kenyans with at least Ksh.500 million in net worth is projected to grow by 60.5 percent over the next five years to reach 2,070 by the year 2022 making Kenya the second fastest growing country in the accumulation of dollar millionaires in the continent behind Nigeria at 74 percent.

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