Presidential Daughter Isabel dos Santos Is the Gina Rinehart of Angola

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By Vittorio Hernandez | January 25, 2013 2:42 PM EST

If Gina Rinehart is Australia's richest person, and once the world's richest woman, her counterpart in Angola is Isabel dos Santos, the daughter of the country's president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos. Forbes reported on Wednesday that Ms dos Santos's wealth breached the one billionth mark, making her Angola's first woman billionaire.

Like Ms Rinehart, Ms dos Santos owns significant shares in several companies including a bank and cable TV.

She has 19.5 per cent stake in BPI, a Portuguese bank which is the largest trader on Angola's stock exchange. Her holding is worth $465 million. The 40-year-old presidential daughter also has a 25 per cent stake in BIC, an Angolan bank, with an estimated value of $160 million.

Ms dos Santos is the majority shareholder in ZON Multimedia, Portugal's largest cable TV company, holding 28.8 per cent stake through two other companies, Kento and Jadeium, plus another 25 per cent share in Unitel, an Angolan telecom firm.

She is the eldest daughter of the Angolan president by his first wife, Tatiana Kukanova, although they are divorced. She grew up in London and studied mechanical and electrical engineering at King's College.

Ms dos Santos's first enterprise was a restaurant in Luanda named Miami Beach, which she opened when she was 24. She married in 2003 Sindika Dokolo from Congo, scion of a millionaire from Kinshasha. Their wedding had 1,000 guests and cost $4 million.

She is fourth on the list of Forbes's 10 African billionaires to watch. Ahead of her are Naushad Merali of Kenya, Tokyo Sexwale of South Africa and Harold Pupkewitz of Namibia.

Her father became Angola's president in 1979. While Angola is the second-largest oil producer in Africa, Angolans are among the poorest in the world where residents survive on less than $2 a day.

The dos Santos family has an estimated wealth of $2 billion, which pales in comparison to Ms Rinehart's $22 billion.

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