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Asian community dominates list of wealthiest Kenyans

By Stephanie Wangari | Jan 17th 2022 | 2 min read
By Stephanie Wangari | January 17th 2022
Sameer Naushad Merali, tops the list of richest people in Kenya. [Courtesy]

The Asian community has dominated the list of the top five wealthiest Kenyans, according to a report by Oxfam International.

"Between 2016 and 2021, the number of individuals with wealth over $50 million increased from 80 to 120. Their combined wealth increased from $12.73 billion to $17.4 billion, an increase of 36.8 per cent, adjusted for inflation," reads an excerpt of the report.

The late billionaire Naushad Merali. [File, Standard]

Sameer Naushad Merali, the heir and son of the late billionaire Naushad Merali, has been listed as number one with a total of $790 million (Sh89.6 billion).

The Merali family owns Sameer Group which is a conglomerate of 15 Kenyan companies that range from agriculture, real estate, construction, transport, insurance, energy and power, among others. 

Bhimji Depar Shah, owner of the BIDCO Group of Companies. [Courtesy]

Coming in second is Bhimji Depar Shah with a fortune of $750 million (Sh85 billion). Shah is an industrialist and entrepreneur, who owns the BIDCO Group of Companies.

BIDCO houses a number of brands that range from bath, laundry and kitchen products to animal feeds.

"The two richest people have more wealth than 16.5 million Kenyans," Oxfam stated in its report, the Africa inequality fact sheet.

Jaswinder Singh Bedi. [Courtesy]

Textile manufacturer Jaswinder Singh Bedi was ranked third with a total of $680 million (Sh77.1 billion).

President Uhuru Kenyatta. [Photos]

President Uhuru Kenyatta came in the fourth position with $530 million (Sh60 billion).

Oxfam International, however, noted that Kenyatta's wealth is likely associated with his family.

The family has invested in various sectors including banking, manufacturing, processing and telecommunication.

The fifth-ranked individual was Mahendra Rambhai Patel with $430 million (Sh48.7 billion). His family owns Ramco Group of companies.

The companies have interests in; print, hardware, manufacturing, office supply and property sectors.

The report was compiled from information by Wealth-X, a data-driven intelligence on the world's wealthiest individuals.

Africa has 19 dollar billionaires with none coming from Kenya. The wealthiest person in Africa is Aliko Dangote with a wealth of Sh1.5 trillion (USD $13.5 billion).

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