South African Entrepreneur, Barry Swartzberg Suffers $8.7 Million Loss in Discovery Shares

South African billionaire Barry Swartzberg is facing huge financial difficulties as shares of Discovery Limited, the country’s top financial services organization, fall sharply on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

Swartzberg’s position in Discovery has decreased by R164.21 million ($8.67 million) in the last 10 days due to the recent slump in the JSE-listed conglomerate’s shares.

The loss comes on the heels of a previous slump of R239.22 million ($12.61 million) between March 15 and March 19, when Swartzberg’s share in Discovery fell from R3.44 billion ($181.15 million) to R3.19 billion ($168.54 million).

Discovery, which started as a medical insurer in 1992, has grown into a financial services behemoth in South Africa. The diverse organization provides long- and short-term insurance, asset management, savings, investments, and employee benefits.

Discovery’s share price on the JSE has fallen 5.02 percent since March 22, from R127 ($6.71) to R120.63 ($6.37). This fall has reduced the company’s market capitalization below $4.5 billion, causing losses for investors such as co-founder Barry Swartzberg.

Swartzberg owns 3.92 percent of the Sandton-based company, which equates to 25,778,420 ordinary shares. The group operates in South Africa and has subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, the United States, China, Singapore, and Australia.

Swartzberg’s stock has lost R164.21 million ($8.67 million) in value as Discovery’s share price has fallen. As of March 22, his holding was worth ZAR 3.27 billion ($172.88 million). At the time of writing, the figure was ZAR 3.11 billion ($164.21 million).

Despite these significant losses, Swartzberg remains a famous businessman in South Africa, as well as one of the most rich investors on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

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