Africa may have as many as 200 “hidden” billionaires operating in the continent’s unofficial economy, Executive Chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group, Mark Mobius revealed recently. According to him, these hidden billionaires will seek to legitimize their wealth in the future as the continent continues to ascend economically. Templeton Emerging Markets Group, a $40 billion investment fund set up by Mobius owns the UK’s largest global emerging markets investment trust and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. It also owns the recently launched Templeton Africa Fund.
“You hear about Dangote but there are maybe 200 with the same kind of resources that we do not see. The black economy is very big,” said Mark Mobius.
“What we see is that these very wealthy people will begin to want to legitimize their wealth by a listing, by putting these assets together, forming a company, listing it,” Mobius told reporters. “Many of these people escaped to London or other countries in order to preserve their wealth. But it is going to get more and more difficult because of anti- bribery and all the rest that is going on in the U.S. and other parts of the world.”
According to the emerging markets investor, a lot of “hidden wealth” is concentrated in the mining industry. The attractiveness and lucrativeness of this sector is further bolstered by the fact that in May this year, Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote said that he “needs” to invest $7.5 billion in industries including mining in the next four years.