Chandler Betting Big on Energy in Africa and Asia
New Zealand-born billionaire Richard Chandler, 55, is counting on gas and oil in far-flung locales from Papua New Guinea to Kenya and Ethiopia, banking on demand from Asia’s growing middle class.
Chandler is amassing a fortune that the Bloomberg Billionaires Index estimated at $3.7 billion on 18 June, reports Business Week. Energy-related companies account for at least $1.2 billion of his wealth.
He is building on a fascination with emerging markets that began with Hong Kong in the 1980s and extended to Brazil, Russia and India.
He is hunting for further riches in Africa’s petroleum reserves. In Nigeria, the continent’s biggest oil producer, Chandler Corp. owns 13.4 per cent of the Union Bank of Nigeria Plc. The lender has more than 350 branches that offer credit to a rising middle class.
“This should enable businesses and entrepreneurs to flourish, supporting and accelerating Nigeria’s economic growth,” Chandler said in a 2012 statement.
As Chandler cultivates his empire, he has funded artists and activists who aid the disadvantaged. In 2007, he formed Freedom to Create to encourage change in developing countries.
Chandler described his business approach to philanthropy at a 2007 Singapore forum on social responsibility: “It’s very much a balance of science and art,” he said. “It’s a capital allocation process. It’s based on information. It’s based on common sense. Think strategic and, above all, sustainability.”
Original article by Yoolim Lee and Netty Ismail, Business Week, June 19, 2014.