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Mohammed Al Amoudi: Ethiopia’s Richest Man Spots Opportunities At Home

Posted by Ethio Tribune on September 9, 2013

Mohammed-Al-Amoudi-Ethiopia’s-Richest-Man-Spots-Opportunities-at-HomeBorn in Ethiopia to an Ethiopian mother and Yemeni father, Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Ali Al Amoudi’s life has always straddled East Africa and the Middle East. A Saudi Arabian citizen since 1965, he has never lost touch with his African roots, investing billions of dollars in projects as diverse as agriculture, construction, oil and media, all the while becoming one of the world’s richest men.

According to recent figures, Al Amoudi is now worth more than $13 billion, which makes him the richest person of Ethiopian descent. He is also Ethiopia’s leading investor and, unusually, the largest foreign investor in Sweden, thanks to his significant oil interests.

Originally working in construction and real estate investment in Saudi Arabia, Al Amoudi acquired Sweden’s largest oil company, OK Petroleum, for $750 million in 1994, at a time when the Swedish economy was having severe difficulties. Because of his strong Saudi links, Al Amoudi was able to connect Swedish and Middle Eastern oil interests to their mutual benefit. For Al Amoudi, the acquisition was an opportunity to enter the growing markets of Eastern Europe, such as Poland, with its 40 million population. For OK Petroleum it meant access to Saudi Oil, which was cheaper and less dangerous to produce than its traditional sources of oil from the North Sea.

Al Amoudi changed the company name to Preem Petroleum and invested in its refinery capacity, its chain of gas stations and its exploration facilities. The latter included Svenska Petroleum Exploration, which has drilled for oil in the Baltic Sea off the coast of Sweden as well as in African waters, off the Ivory Coast. He put further investment into civil and industrial contracting in Sweden and other engineering assets. Although Al Amoudi put Svenska Petroleum up for sale in 2012, with a reported price tag in the region of $2 billion, no sale has yet taken place.

Another oil-based investment followed, this one in a country that couldn’t be more different to Sweden: Morocco. Al Amoudi established Samir Sami in Morocco, expanding its operations through the years to the point that it now boasts profits of $57 million per year.>>>read more

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