India-born steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal has been named the richest person in South Africa for the fourth consecutive year on the annual 'Rich List' compiled by the weekly Sunday Times.
Mittal achieved this distinction despite a 65 percent loss in his 52 percent stake in ArcelorMittal South Africa during the March-November period this year due to the global financial crisis.
The London-based magnates' stake in the former state-owned Iscor, which he turned around with a huge cash injection and business assistance agreement before eventually buying it out, was valued at 45.6 billion rands ($4.5 billion) in March, but went down to 16.2 billion rands ($1.6 billion) now.
But that still did not stop Mittal, who has never lived in the country, from beating his nearest rival Patrice Motsepe.
Motsepe's investments in mining company African Rainbow Minerals and insurance giant Sanlam are valued at 9.6 billion rands.
The two families, which have dominated the South African economic scene for decades - the Oppenheimers and the Ruperts - took the next two positions. Nicky Oppenheimer's investments in Anglo American plc is currently worth 6.8 billion rands while the Rembrandt Trust of the Rupert family is valued at 3.1 billion rands.
The Rich List is compiled using the holdings of individuals in companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
Only two South African Indians made it onto the list of 150. They are Ragi Moonsamy, whose stake in Growthpoint Properties and Mvelaphanda Resources of 497 million rands puts him in 48th place and Mustaq Enus-Brey, whose 119 million rands in Brimstone Investment Corp and Nedbank Group got him the 135th position.
Indo-Asian News Service