The number of U.S.-dollar millionaires in Kenya will grow at more than double the global rate over the next decade as the economy expands, according to Africa’s biggest lender.
Individuals with a net worth of more than $1 million will increase 74 percent by 2024, compared with 31 percent globally, Deon de Klerk, global head of wealth and investment management at Standard Bank Group Ltd., said in an interview Thursday in the capital, Nairobi. Kenya currently has about 8,700 millionaires out of 18 million globally, he said.
“Kenya is in a great position,” he said. “It is well diversified, it is well located, it is a hub.”
Kenya’s economy, the fifth-biggest in Sub-Saharan Africa, is expected by the government to grow as much as 7 percent this year and 7.6 percent in 2016, driven mainly by the government’s plans to upgrade infrastructure. Global growth is expected to average 3.6 percent over the next two years, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Global private wealth is forecast to expand 40 percent to $369 trillion by 2019, with more than a quarter of the growth coming from emerging markets, Credit Suisse Group AG said in a report in October.
Most wealthy Kenyans have businesses in the manufacturing industry, real estate and horticulture industries, Anjali Harkoo, head of wealth and investment at CfC Stanbic Bank Ltd., the local unit of Johannesburg-based Standard Bank, said during the interview.
Kenya’s richest man is Bhimji Depar Shah, founder and chairman of Bidco Group, which manufactures edible oils and other consumer goods, according to Forbes. His net worth is $700 million, the New Jersey-based magazine said in November.
The best-performing assets held by the world’s wealthiest investors in the past decade include classic cars, art, stamps and wine, De Klerk said.
Standard Bank’s wealth unit has operations in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Mauritius, London and Jersey. The Kenyan operation is two-and-half years old and plans to expand coverage in East Africa to include Uganda, Tanzania and South Sudan, Harkoo said.
Standard Bank offers courses on money management, given that studies show that as much as 90 percent of wealth is lost after it’s transfered from one generation to another, De Klerk said.