Kenya’s rich plan new nationalities – report

NAIROBI, Kenya, March 2 (Reuters) – Kenya‘s wealthy are planning new nationalities as part of their investing activities, with just over a quarter of Kenya‘s $3,362 millionaires now planning to apply for a second passport or a new nationality.

Kenya’s wealthy are doing this to enable more investment, education and access to health care, according to the 2022 Opinion Poll released today with Knight Frank’s annual Wealth Report.

Of Kenyans looking for new passports, around 59 percent do so as an investment, versus a global average of 17 percent, while 38 percent cite education as a driving factor, compared to 18 percent globally. Meanwhile, 34 percent strive for better healthcare, compared to 13 percent globally.

Andrew Shirley, editor of The Wealth Report at Knight Frank, said that among Kenyans looking for new passports, the proportion interested in reducing their tax burden, improving their security or gaining a better quality of life is similar is like the rich worldwide.

“The big difference for Kenya’s dollar millionaires is the proportion of new applications for citizenship to invest and seek better education and health care for themselves and their families,” he said.

Ben Woodhams, MD of Knight Frank Kenya, said: “This growing trend of ‘nationality planning’ from our own wealth is heavily skewed towards premium investment, education and healthcare, with real estate investment being a significant component of that investment.”

This disparity is most evident in commercial real estate investment, which accounts for about 49 percent of the wealth of Kenya’s wealthiest individuals, but only about 27 percent of the wealth of the world’s wealthy.

However, it is unusual for Kenyan millionaires to hold such a high proportion of their wealth domestically, holding on average just 19 percent of their real estate portfolio abroad, compared to an average of 32 percent for all HNWIs.

“Overall, the shift towards citizenship applications driven by the primary objective of investment and by an established platform of property preference is related to the interest of Kenya’s wealthy in owning property abroad. Her long-standing preference for investing in real estate at home now extends to real estate investing in the US, UK, Australia and the UAE,” Andrew said.

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