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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Soros, Buffet & Bloomberg Expected in Kenya!


Top US investors and celebrities are expected to be in Kenya by April 30th to attend a global summit that seeks to champion against illegal trade in wildlife. The conference is part of a week of events aimed at stopping the slaughter of endangered animals for their bones, hides or tusks much in demand in some parts of Asia and the rest of the world.

Among those on the invitation list include a philanthropist who is also a media entrepreneur & a former New York City Mayor Mr Michael Bloomberg. “The man who broke the bank of England” 85 year old hedge fund billionaire Mr George Soros is expected to attend along with Mr Howard Buffet — son to the “Oracle of Omaha” Warren Buffet.

Some of the top American celebrities expected to attend the event include Hollywood actor Leonardo Di Caprio, Musician Elton John and actress Nicole Kidman. Heads of state from Across Africa, Europe and Asia are also expected to head to the East African nation. Others are BBC legend David Attenborough, British musician Elton John, as well as former basketball star Yao Ming, who has led campaigns in his homeland of China to raise awareness of the damage elephant poaching causes.

President Uhuru Kenyatta set fire in March 2015 to a giant pile of 15 tonnes of elephant ivory, which conservationists said then was the largest ever burned in Africa.

At the time, Kenyatta said he set fire to ivory as a message because he wanted “future generations of Kenyans, Africans and the entire world to experience the majesty and beauty of these magnificent beasts.”

The promised destruction of the remaining stockpile is now slated for April 29 and 30.

Kenyan wildlife officers on Wednesday began piling up elephant tusks that will soon form a 120-tonne bonfire of ivory, the largest ever to be incinerated at one time.

The tusks have been seized from poachers, smugglers and traders around the country since 1989 and are due to be torched on April 30. They are estimated to have come from around 4,000 elephants butchered in Kenya alone.

The Kenyan stockpile set to be burned on 30th April is estimated to be worth $270 million on the black market.(over 251 million euros). Tusks are also used in ornaments elsewhere in Asia, including in the Middle East. Ivory is often a symbol of one’s wealth.

About 30,000 elephants are estimated to be killed each year for their tusks. Kenya now is believed to have an elephant population of about 45,000, according to its wildlife service, KWS.

Soros Operations in Kenya

With a net worth of $26 billion, Hungarian-American Soros among the top 30 richest people in the world, according to Forbes. He has a presence in many countries, earning a reputation as a specialist in making a profit.

Soros has invested tens of million of dollars in kenya when he began his operations around 2004 by he officially launching the Open Society Initiative for East Africa (OSIEA), with headquarters in Nairobi, and a budget of $1.1 millionsoros open sf.jpg.

Soros in Equity Bank

George Soros through his firm, the Soros Fund Management, was among elite group of investors who bought a majority 24.99% stake in Equity Bank in 2007 through Helios Investment. Helios later sold the 24.9% stake to RenCap,NSSF Uganda, Genesis and other several institutional investors making a total return on investment of about 436%(Ksh51 Billion) on the original investment of Sh11 billion made in 2007. During an investor briefing in late 2015, Equity Bank CEO Dr James Mwangi said that Soros,China Construction Bank, China Development Bank, Temasek of Singapore were among the investors who missed out on the 24.9% Helios stake.

Soros in Prudential & Resolution Insurance firms

George Soros together with JP Morgan through Leapfrog have invested about Ksh 35 billion in Kenya’s Insurance sector. These funds have been channeled to Prudential Assurance and in Resolution Health where Leapfrog holds a majority stake.

Sources of Data; KWS,Local daillies, FT, Equity Bank & Kenyan Wallstreet

Related; Largest Sovereign Wealth Fund’s Investment Journey in Kenya


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