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Rich get richer in Gaborone: 100 new millionaires in 2020

MBONGENI MGUNI
Home of capital: Gaborone has 1,200 US dollar millionaires PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
Despite COVID-19 eroding most people’s incomes last year, an authoritative new report indicates that the number of dollar millionaires living in Gaborone rose by as much as 100 in 2020.

The latest update of New World Wealth’s assessment of Africa’s richest countries and cities, suggests that from 1,100 dollar millionaires in Gaborone in 2019, the numbers by the end of 2020 had climbed to 1,200. The researchers round off their numbers to the nearest 100.

Produced in collaboration with AfrAsia Bank, the researchers use models to calculate wealth breakdowns for each country, with key inputs that include stock market, property, income and GDP per capita statistics. Researchers also use historical in-house databases and account for currency, stock market and property price movements, amongst others.

The report also looks at total wealth amongst individuals and cities by including all assets such as property, cash, equities, business interests less any liabilities. The estimate also excludes government funds.

The New World Wealth report does not name individuals nor identify their assets, in line with the confidential nature of its findings. According to the latest findings, the country had 2,000 dollar millionaires at the end of 2020, up from 1,800 in 2019. At least 80 people were classified as dollar multimillionaires, meaning they had assets exceed $10 million (P110 million).

Gaborone remains the centre of wealth in the country, accounting for 1,200 of the dollar millionaires.

By comparison, South Africa, which has the continent’s highest individual wealth, had 36,500 dollar millionaires and five dollar billionaires in 2020, while Namibia had 1,600 dollar millionaires and 60 dollar multimillionaires with assets above $10 million.

In the latest report, Johannesburg remained

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the continent’s richest city, with 15,100 dollar millionaires as of 2020 up from 13,500 in 2019, as well as and two residents with net assets over $1 billion.

Gaborone remained Africa’s 17th richest city with $12 billion in total wealth held by individuals, up from $11 billion in 2019, behind cities such as Lagos, Cape Town, Durban, Nairobi, Luanda and Kampala.

The latest figures suggest wealthy individuals enjoyed the same upsurge in their holdings, as pension funds did last year. Fund managers previously said they had used active investment strategies to pick out high performing assets despite the impact of COVID-19 on returns. Homegrown pension fund assets shot up to P105 billion at the end of 2020, from P94.3 billion at the beginning of last year, aided by the strong performance in Big Tech stocks.

Officials at local asset manager, BIFM previously told BusinessWeek that offshore equities had driven the rise in local pension funds during the year.

“While 2020 was a challenging year for most investors, it should be noted that over the 12 months period financial markets, particularly international equities, performed well and delivered exceptionally positive results.

“Much of this performance was led by technology stocks that rallied as stay-at-home orders resulted in a shift in consumption and increased use of more digital platforms.

“The top-most technology companies Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google delivered 33.09%, 80.75%, 76.26%, 67.11% and 30.85%, respectively, dwarfing the market performance,” the BIFM officials said.



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