After years of Johann Rupert rule, the distinction of being South Africa’s richest man briefly changed hands this week, when the Bloomberg Billionaire Index suggested that Nicky Oppenheimer was $20 million better off than his wealthy counterpart.
Who is the richest man in South Africa? Johann Rupert, Nicky Oppenheimer continue to duel it out
However, this adjustment didn’t last for too long. Despite enduring months of sustained losses to his personal fortune, Johann Rupert saw his net worth skyrocket by $80 million yesterday. Nicky Oppenheimer couldn’t exactly call it a bad day at the office either.
The official billionaire rankings stated that his worth climbed by $25 million. However, given that this was dwarfed by the wealth surge experienced by Mr. Rupert, the pair have ended up trading places in the domestic standings.
Johann Rupert vs Nicky Oppenheimer: Current net worth, business interests, and financial challenges
As of 10:00 on Wednesday 25 May, Johann Rupert is estimated to be worth roughly $8.76 billion – or R137 billion. Meanwhile, Nicky Oppenheimer’s fortune is valued at $8.63 billion, or R135 billion. The $130 million / R2 billion gap between the pair is, in relative terms, marginal.
It marks a rare recent upswing for the finances of Rupert, who’s luxury watch and investment businesses have been hit hard by the twin impact of China’s Zero-COVID policies and the invasion of Ukraine. Sanctions imposed on Russia have crushed one of Richemont’s biggest markets.
Billionaire listings ‘likely to change again’ this year
Oppenheimer, meanwhile, is the heir to the De Beers mining fortune. His diversified investments continue to keep the pennies rolling in, and it’s expected that the pair could trade places again within the next few days.
It’s also worth noting their year-to-date comparisons. Nicky Oppenheimer is $675 million better off than he was in May 2021. The same cannot be said for Johann Rupert, however, as his net worth has plummeted by $3.2 billion in the past 12 months.
- Nonetheless, we won’t be starting a Crowdfunder for him any time soon.