Friday, April 8, 2022

Forbes Middle East : Egypt and Lebanon “Despite economic crises” have the most billionaires in the Arab World

Forbes Middle East released on Thursday its World’s Richest Arabs list for the year 2022 and it is

It is worth mentioning that Forbes Middle East does not include Saudi billionaires on its list since 2018. This list is also based on published info and assets.

We know as Arabs that there is another list of the Richest Arabs whose fortunes are secret and unknown. Rulers are not included in the list.

According to Forbes Middle East, the World’s Richest Arab in the world is Egyptian Nassef Sawiris with a net worth of USD 7.7 billion despite his wealth dropping by USD 600 million compared to 2021.

Forbes Middle East says that that dropped happened in a slump in the share price of Adidas which Sawiris owns 6%.

Egypt's six richest men according to Forbes 

Nassef Sawiris is not the richest Arab but also the second richest African. He is also the 304th richest man in the world.

Now an interesting fact this year according to Forbes Middle East is that Egypt and Lebanon have the most billionaires in the Arab region.

Egypt and Lebanon have each six billionaires.

In fact, Egypt has a higher net wealth of the most billionaires in the Arab region than Lebanon in some harsh irony considering the latest economic crisis hitting the country.

Egypt’s six billionaires combined net wealth equals USD 18.3 billion “which is equal to LE 335,632,980,000”.

Meanwhile, Lebanese billionaires combined net wealth equals USD 12.6 billion.

The six Egyptian billionaires are three Mansour brothers, two Sawiris brothers and one Al-Fayed or Mohamed, Youssef and Yassen Mansour and Nassef and Naguib Sawiris plus Mohamed Al-Fayed.

According to Forbes Middle East, Nassef Sawiris comes in the first place then his brother Naguib Sawiris in the third place “his wealth increased by USD 200 million and he is not working only in telecommutions because he got property and gold mining empires” and Mohamed Mansour comes in the eighth place.

Mohamed El-Fayed comes in 9th place. I believe he is the oldest man on the list mashallah as he is currently 93 years old. From what I understand, his children are running their businesses now.

It is worth mentioning that El-Fayed was the first Egyptian to join the billionaires' list and he has no investments in Egypt as far as I know, unlike the Sawiris and Mansours clans.

Youssef Mansour comes in 15th place and his brother Yassen Mansour comes in 21st place on the list.

Since 2014 and even before, the Mansours and Sawiris families have been dominating Egypt's rich list according to Forbes.

Egypt’s population are nearly 103 million and among those 103 million, there are six Egyptians who own USD 18.3 billion.

It is also worth mentioning that poverty rates in Egypt for the first in two decades in fiscal 2019/20 dropped to 29.7% by 2.8% after they were 32.5% in the fiscal year 2017/18

Let this sink.

Lebanon has Two Mikatis billionaires including current Prime Minister Najib Mikati and his brother Taha Mikati who are in 4th place on the list while Bahaa El-Hariri is in 11th place and famed jeweller Robert Mouawad in 15th place.

El-Hariri younger brothers are there in the list : Ayman El-Hariri is in 17th place and Fahd El-Hariri is in the 19th place.

Egypt and Lebanon suffer from terrible economic crises and actually many Egyptians are worried that we end up like Lebanon but others believe that the World powers and Gulf neighbours won’t let Egypt fall like Lebanon because “Egypt is too big to fail”.

I do not know what to say more but another interesting remark in this list, you will find that it is all about the families and clans. Most of those billionaires are not true entrepreneurs but heirs who started with their family wealth and expanded it. You will find entrepreneurs but mostly they are the old men who started the big companies and economic empires for instance Mohamed El-Fayed.

Anyhow my solace is that the unfair distribution of wealth is a global issue, not an Egyptian or Arab issue. The minority controls the majority’s wealth.

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