Archive for July 16th, 2007

source: The Daily Times, Malawi

BY GERALD NAMWAZA, The Daily Times
09:28:44 – 16 July 2007

FIRST Merchant Bank (FMB) on Friday unveiled its plans to open a branch in Botswana, a move it said would add value to its investment portfolio.

The bank, which is listed on the Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE), also reported a six-month group profit after tax of K707 million, 64 per cent above last year’s results during the same period.

Director Sean O’Neil told journalists in Blantyre the bank was inspired with its success in Malawi and wanted to tap from the business opportunities in diamond-rich Botswana.

“There are so many opportunities in Botswana, the economy is stable and its bank deposits are 10 times those in Malawi,” O’Neil said.

He said the bank was investing about 20 million pula (K460 million) which was twice the required capital requirement in Botswana.

The bank, whose asset base has jumped from K10.6 billion last year to K15.9 billion this year, said it was optimistic its venture in Botswana would boost shareholders earnings.

“What gives us confidence is that if only we can have about one percent of the Botswana market we would be bigger than we are here,” O’Neil said adding that for the first time Malawi would get foreign currency dividends payments.

Looking ahead, the bank says it expects interest rates to be [continue reading]

Mogae set to retire

source: IOL

July 15 2007 at 03:06PM

Gaborone – Botswana’s President Festus Mogae has announced that he is to stand down next year after a decade at the helm of the diamond-rich southern African nation.

The 67-year-old told members of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) he would serve another nine months as head of state and then hand over to Vice President Seretse Khama Ian Khama ahead of a general election in October 2009.

“I look forward in the next nine months to retirement and rest. I do so in the conviction, that I did my best; like Frank Sinatra, I did it my way and like Tony Blair, I did what I thought was right,” he told delegates at a conference in the city of Molepolole on Saturday.

“I do so with a sense of immense, satisfaction as I look back at what we have achieved together … I am further comforted by the belief that I have led a good party, with the assistance of good men and women, who are positioned to take it to greater heights.”

The son of cattle farmers who was educated at Oxford University, Mogae has described himself as [continue reading]

source: News24
15/07/2007 22:54 – (SA)

Liela Magnus, Beeld

Bela Bela – “A lion in Radium? No one will believe me!

“Dad, there’s a lion in the garden,” were the words that greeted Jan le Grange, the owner of a smalholding outside Bela-Bela just as he was snuggling a little deeper under the warm blankets on Sunday morning.

He was initially woken up by two of his sons, Ian and Leon (both 14), when they wanted to go and hunt pheasant.

“I said to the boys, ‘Oh nonsense’, but they persisted and I went to have a look.

“Wragtag…I saw the lion when I got to the lounge,” said Le Grange.

“My first thought was that no one will believe me!”

The well-fed, adult lioness was pacing up and down behind a wire fence about 100m from his house.

” Her head was higher than a normal cattle fence when she sat down,” said Le Grange.

The uninvited guest walked around nonchalantly while [continue reading]

source: News24
15/07/2007 21:56  – (SA)

Johannesburg – Just 500 of the more than 15 000 people who applied for jobs as Johannesburg metro cops have made the grade, spokesperson Wayne Minnaar says.

The metro police hope to beef up their ranks by 4 000 before the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

Minnaar says the applicants undergo literacy and numeracy proficiency assessments before being interviewed.

Once OKed, the applicants will undergo a six-month basic training course. Then there’s six more months in the field.

“The training includes criminal procedures, ethics, evidence procedures, fire arm skills, basic first aid, accident recording and advanced driver training.”

They will then be [continue reading]