Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote has revealed that he plans to take an office space in New York City to help diversify his family’s wealth.
During his interview with Bloomberg, he said his decision is a bold move aimed at avoiding the risk of currency fluctuations which is synonymous with the African continent.
The owner of the biggest cement company in sub-Saharan Africa will use the base and an existing one in London to become more global after the completion of a $12 billion, 650,000 barrel-a-day refinery currently under construction in Nigeria.
“In Africa, we have issues of devaluation, so we want to really preserve some of the family’s wealth,” Dangote told Bloomberg TV’s David Rubenstein Show.
The decision by Dangote to take up a foreign office did not come as a surprise. Top billionaires across the world diversify their investments to countries with strong and rising currencies to avoid asset erosion.
The naira depreciated at the Investors’ and Exporters’ (I&E) windows by 0.49 percent to close at N363.49/$ from N361.7/$ but the local currency has stayed around N306.95/$ at the official market.
Gross external reserves declined further by 1.16 percent to $39.24 billion from $39.7 billion at the beginning of the month. The sustained decline in external reserves led to a reduction in Nigeria’s import cover from 9.88 months.
According to reports, the 62-year-old Nigerian businessman became $4.3 billion richer in 2019 as his fortune continued to grow on the back of investments in cement, flour and sugar.
With a net worth of about $15 billion, he is ranked the 95th wealthiest man in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
His conglomerate, Dangote Industries, includes the Lagos-listed Dangote Cement Plc and four other publicly traded companies under the Dangote brand.
Aliko Dangote accounts for more than a fifth of the value of the Nigerian stock exchange.
Aliko Dangote is a Nigerian businessman, investor, and owner of the Dangote Group, which has interests in commodities in Nigeria and other African countries. As of November 2019, he had an estimated net worth of over US$8.9 billion.
Header Image Credit: Bloomerg