Barry Swartzberg’s Investment in Discovery Plunges, Losing $12 Million

South African business giant Barry Swartzberg’s fortunes have taken a huge hit as the market value of his shares in Discovery Limited, the leading insurance group, has plummeted. This $12 million decline is due to Discovery’s share price falling sharply on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

Goldman Sachs strategists warned investors of upcoming market turbulence, prompting a sharp drop in Discovery’s shares. Investors were urged to take advantage of the opportunity to get affordable portfolio insurance before market conditions worsened.

Swartzberg’s position in Discovery Limited saw its market value collapse by R239.22 million ($12.61 million) in four days, owing principally to the downward trajectory of Discovery Limited shares on the JSE.

Discovery Limited, initially created as a medical insurer in 1992, ranks as one of South Africa’s largest and most diverse global financial services organizations, specialized in numerous areas such as long- and short-term insurance, asset management, savings, investment, and employee benefits.

Discovery Limited’s shares on the local bourse fell 6.96 percent in recent trading sessions, from R133.36 ($7.027) on March 15 to R124.08 ($6.538), causing the market capitalization to fall below $5 billion and resulting in significant losses for shareholders, including Swartzberg.

Swartzberg is a co-founder of the renowned group, which has operations in South Africa and subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, the United States, China, Singapore, and Australia. He owns a 3.92 percent share in the Sandton-based financial services behemoth. This equates into a total of 25,778,420 ordinary shares of the corporation.

Swartzberg’s investment has dropped by R239.22 million ($12.61 million) in the last four days, following a 6.96 percent reduction in the group’s share price. His investment, which was worth R3.44 billion ($181.15 million) on March 15, has now dropped to R3.19 billion ($168.54 million) as of the writing of this report.

Despite a recent setback in Swartzberg’s assets, he remains one of South Africa’s wealthiest businessmen and one of the most successful investors on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

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