Meet Samir Mane, Albania's first billionaire

Samir Mane, the President and CEO of Balfin Group, the largest privately owned company in Albania, has beenidentified as the country's first billionaire with a fortune worth $1.2 billion, according to data provided by WealthX, a global ultra high net worth intelligence provider.

Mane, president and CEO ofBalfin Group, who introduced the first shopping mall and logistics park to the southeastern Europeannation, is a self-made billionaire.

He not only left Albania for Austria in 1991 when Communism fell but was also housed in the Traiskirchern refugee camp for a while.

He worked as a translator before staring Albatrade in 1993, an electronic appliances trading company sellingtelevisions and video recorders through a chain of stores in the Albanian capital Tirana.

 Meet Samir Mane, Albanias first billionaire

Samir Mane

In 2008,Mane was included in the Financial Times top four 'people to watch in business' in Albania and is now considered one of the most powerful personalities among Albanian businessmen.

Balfin, which stands for Balkan Finance Investment Group was founded in 1993 in Vienna, Austria, and was the first to launch the concept of chain stores in Albania and the first to develop a shopping mall in the country.

In 2011, Maneinvested 48 million euros ($$66.72 million in2011 rates) to build Tirana East Gate, which has become the country's biggest shopping centre at 90,000square metres, according to WealthX data.

The Group's businesses include real estate investment and development (through Mane TCI), retail (Neptun, Euromax , Fashion store), import and wholesale (Alba Trade), etc.

Updated Date: Dec 20, 2014 22:37:50 IST