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Ap Photo/Sunday Alamba,
Sitting pretty.
BUCKING THE TREND

A down day in the markets clobbered the world’s richest people—but not this Nigerian billionaire

By Yinka Adegoke

When stocks took a beating this week on concerns about Greece’s solvency and China’s overheated equity market, the world’s billionaires took a beating, too. On June 29, the 400 richest people on the planet lost a combined $70 billion in a single day, according to Bloomberg.

Bill Gates, the world’s richest person—with personal wealth estimated at $83.6 billion—lost $1.4 billion, a 1.7% decline. Warren Buffett, the world’s third-richest person (estimated fortune: $67.1 billion), lost $1.6 billion.

One of the few billionaires to successfully ride out all the uncertainty was Aliko Dangote, the Nigerian industrialist heralded by both Bloomberg and Forbes as Africa’s wealthiest person. Dangote, the world’s 59th-wealthiest person, was one of just 12 billionaires among the 400 on its Bloomberg Billionaires Index to increase his or her fortunes on June 29, a day when the S&P 500 Index fell 2.1%, the Euro Stoxx index slumped 4.2%, and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange Composite index in China declined by more than 6%.

Dangote’s wealth, meanwhile, increased by $180 million that day to an estimated $15.3 billion, according to Bloomberg’s data. One reason he bucked the trend: shares of one of his biggest businesses, Dangote Cement, rose 2.35%.

Dangote has publicly said he is focused on investing and building in Africa and last month came word of a big investment in Asia. That focus on the African continent and other places away from the euro’s uncertainty might have played a hand in attracting investors this week.