South African billionaires, Nicky Oppenheimer and Johann Rupert are among the biggest losers of the year, dropping more than $2 billion from their wealth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index.

Aliko Dangote, Nigerian billionaire and Africa’s richest man dropped a little less than $2 billion of his wealth in 2018. This may be as a result of his expansive project in Lagos, the Dangote Refinery - which is expected to be Africa’s biggest refinery.

ALSO READ: These are the seven richest billionaires in Africa right now

Business Insider Sub-Saharan Africa looks at the finances of African billionaires and how much they have lost year-to-date.

1. Aliko Dangote

Dangote is the biggest business brand on the African continent and indisputable Africa's pride. The owner, Nigerian-born billionaire, Aliko Dangote has interests in commodities in Nigeria and other African countries.

In 2018, Dangote dropped about $2 billion from wealth yet still Africa's richest man and stand currently at $10.3 billion on the Bloomberg Billionaire Index.

Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote

Building Africa’s biggest refinery

Aliko Dangote is currently expending funds into his refinery project in Lekki, Lagos.

Country: Nigeria

Net worth: $10.3 billion (Bloomberg Billionaire Index)

Year-to-date drop: $1.91 billion

2. Nicky Oppenheimer

South African billionaire businessman and philanthropist. Nicky is currently the richest man in South Africa. He was formerly the chairman of De Beers diamond mining company and of its subsidiary, the Diamond Trading Company, and former deputy chairman of Anglo American.

The diamond powerhouse believes Africa can do it all on its own without the backings of western governments.

Nicky Oppenheimer, South African billionaire businessman and philanthropist.

The Diamond industry

De Beers is investing $94 million over four years to build a U.S. factory targeting 500,000 carats of lab-grown gems a year. The Diamond industry has also faced a lot of price slide in 2018 as millennial are attracted to man-made gem-quality diamonds to the natural gems.

Chinese producers and other miners are playing in the Diamond market stepping up their output of cheaply manufactured diamonds.

Country: South Africa

Age: 68

Net worth: $5.98 billion

Year-to-date drop: $2.12 billion

3. Johann Rupert

The South African-born entrepreneur is the eldest son of business tycoon Anton Rupert and his wife Huberte.

He owns the Swiss-based luxury-goods company Richemont as well as of the South Africa-based company Remgro.

Johann Rupert, South African-born entrepreneur and Richemont Boss.

Too many watches in the world

Sales in the Watch industry has dropped drastically over the year. Last year, Rupert lost about €287 million ($327.25 million) due to dismal sales and profit for the 2017 financial year.

He had told financial analysts that there are too many watches in the world.

Country: South Africa

Net worth: $5.92 billion

Year-to-date drop $2.17 billion

4. Natie Kirsh

Nathan Kirsh is South African-born Swazi billionaire businessman. He has properties spanning Australia, Swaziland, and the UK and Swazi citizenship. Swaziland is now known as the Kingdom of eSwatini.

The majority of Kirsh's fortune is derived from a 75% stake in Jetro Holdings, a New York-based company that manages two U.S. wholesale grocery businesses: Jetro Cash & Carry and Restaurant Depot, according to Bloomberg News.

Natie Kirsh, South African-born Swazi billionaire businessman
Biznews

The US sanctions, crash in forex markets and double tariffs

He dropped over $600 million wealth as a result of the crash in the forex market mid-2018 as a result of US president Donald Trump sanctions and doubled tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.

Country: South Africa

Net worth: $5.76 billion

Year-to-date drop: $632 million

5. Nassef Sawiris

Nassef is the current richest person in Egypt. He owns 30% of OCI, a Geleen, Netherlands-based construction contractor, and 27% of Dubai-based Orascom Construction, an infrastructure and engineering group.

His other assets include stakes in the sportswear company Adidas and LafargeHolcim, the world's biggest cement maker.

Nassef Sawiris, Egyptian billionaire

Investing in Aston Villa

He dropped over $300 million in wealth after investing in Aston Villa with his American business counterpart, Wesley Eden. The duo was reported to have a seal a joint 55% stake in Aston Villa from the Chinese co-owner Tony Xia.

Country: Egypt

Net worth: $6.8 billion

Year-to-date drop: $383 million

6. Naguib Sawiris

The Egyptian billionaire businessman is the chairman of Weather Investments Company and chairman of Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding S.A.E.

The Orascom Group was established by his father. Since manning the family business in 1979, Sawiris has contributed to the growth and diversification of the company known as Egypt’s largest and most diversified conglomerates and the country’s largest private sector employer.

Naguib Sawiris, Egyptian billionaire businessman

Divest into gold

In the first quarter of 2018, his company Orascom Telecom posted a net loss of $6.77 million. I May, Sawiris told Bloomberg News that he has put half of his billion dollars into gold.

Country: Egypt

Net worth: $3.8 billion

Year-to-date drop: $538 million

7. Issad Rebrab

An Algerian billionaire businessman and owner of CEVITAL industrial group, the largest private company in the country.

Issad Rebrab, Algerian billionaire businessman, CEO of the CEVITAL industrial group
Tapatalk

Investments in France and across Europe

In a Reuters report in last month, Algerian company Cevital agreed to set up a plant making water treatment machines at part of an eastern France site run by carmaker PSA.

The deal will see Cevital buy up parts of the site at Charleville-Mezieres freed up by PSA in order to make machines for the water treatment business.

Country: Algeria

Net worth: $4 billion

Year-to-date drop: $310 million

The Bloomberg Billionaires Index ranked the world’s 500 richest people, the biggest movers and track returns.