Motsepe billions wiped out as ARM stock falls

Zweli Mokgata

Zweli Mokgata

More than R10billion has been wiped out of billionaire Patrice Motsepe's shareholding in African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) due to a drop in the company's share price.

Despite announcing exceptional performance on Monday, ARM shareholders have felt the erosion of the share value in the past year.

Motsepe, the company's executive chairman, would have also seen his stock lose more than half its value in the past year.

ARM said on Monday headline earnings had increased by 201percent to R2232million for the six months to December 31 2008, but investors were still wary during the day's trading sending the company's share price from its R117 per share open to R113.

In March last year, when Motsepe's share in ARM was worth R19.7billion, the share price had settled at around R220 a share.

After opening at R113 yesterday, the company's share price dipped to trade at around R108 throughout the morning.

If Motsepe had kept the same 41.5percent stake in the company, it would be worth just under R9.67billion.

The Business Times 2008 Rich List estimated Motsepe's net worth at R22.1billion by March last year.

Andre Botha, a portfolio manager at Optimum Asset Managers, said that global sentiment about the mining industry would be negative for the next six months.

He said: "ARM could go down to as low as R95 (per share), and maybe turn around in two to three weeks. Gold might be a safe haven, but people are still being laid off and spending less."