Archive for March 10th, 2008

source: Mmegi

The Rural Industries Promotions Company (Botswana) is building an Industrial Satellite Service Centre (ISSC) in Palapye.

The company started the project with a groundbreaking ceremony at the project site on 1 February 2008.

Constructed by Dolomite, with AMA Projects Botswana providing management services, the project is expected to provide mentoring and business advisory services to entrepreneurs in the small, medium and micro enterprises sector to empower them to undertake meaningful and profitable businesses.

This will ensure survival and sustainable growth of technology based small, medium and micro enterprises. The project should be [continue reading]

Allan Seccombe
Posted: Mon, 10 Mar 2008

[] — SASOL, the leading producer of liquid fuel from coal is busy with the second phase of a bankable feasibility study into building two such plants in China and has secured favourable participation for itself in the project, said Leon Strauss, general manager of Sasol International Energy.

Work done in a pre-feasibility study between 2002 and 2005 pointed to two plants, each with a capacity of 84,000 barrels per day (bpd) of fuel, together with dedicated coal mines in Shaanxi province and the Ningxia Hui region in China.

The plants are unlikely to come into production much before 2016, Strauss told Miningmx.
an arrangement I’m happy with
The first phase of the bankable study put in place economic enablers, including [continue reading]

source: Mmegi


Parliament has approved a government rollout of a bond issuance programme of up to P5billion in order to stimulate liquidity in capital markets.

This follows an appeal to Parliament to approve the bond issuance in line with government’s effort to support the development of domestic capital markets with a regular programme of issue and re-issue of government bonds by the Minister of Finance and Development Planning Baledzi Gaolathe last Wednesday.

In his 2008/09 Budget Speech, Gaolathe said a mix of maturities would replace the five-year bond that matures at the end of this month. The plan is to establish and maintain government’s presence in the bond market over the full range of maturities, from six-month treasury bills to 12-year bond maturities.

A further round after the March issuance will follow the mix of maturities for issue in September this year. The Minister said the [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard

by Sunday Standard Reporter
01.03.2008 12:32:55 P

Linah Mohohlo, the Central Bank governor made a disparate appeal last week as she launched a three-year rolling inflation target of 3-to- 6 percent which analysts said Friday that it is a tall order for the bank.

The move by the central bank is a shift from the usual short term targets to a medium to long term target in line with the international practice. However, the central bank, which is currently struggling to contain inflation rate to last year’s targets of 4-to-7 percent with inflation running as high as 8.4 percent as for last month, is faced with a raft of challenges to achieve its new target.

“It is a good move to hear that the central bank is aiming to bring the inflation rate to much lower rates of 3-to-6 percent. But there are lots of challenges which make it very difficult to achieve those targets,” an analyst at Capital Securities, Leutwetse Tumelo said on Friday.

He said with fuel prices running as high as US $ 100 per barrel and salary increases as high as 15 percent, this will present some challenges to the bank.

“There is no way you can avoid a hike in administrative prices if fuel is so high. And the 15 percent salary increase announced will mean that people are [continue reading]

source: Mmegi


The ambassador of the People’s Republic of China has pleaded with the Overseas Chinese Overland Challenge (OCOC) campaign team to tell the world that: “Botswana is a beautiful country with lots of wildlife and peace”.

Ding Xiao Wen said this at the Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC) recently where OCOC made presentations as a way of courting the world on the coming of the 2008 Beijing Olympics in China.

OCOC is a team of 12 Chinese living in African countries where China has Embassies such as Nigeria, South Africa, Botswana and Zambia. The team, which is moving around the world to promote the Beijing Olympics, started their journey in Cape Town, passing through most of the African countries until they arrive in Beijing after 43,000 kilometres in 100 days.

They are driving eight 4×4 vehicles made in their country. Wen told the Chinese that Botswana is a country with the biggest elephants, diamonds and “it has a beautiful environment”. He said Botswana is a shining example, not only in Africa, but also the rest of the world with [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
10.03.2008 9:51:19 A

BizCapital, the local financial institution, is shoring up its image in the local market as it is embarking on a brand-positioning strategy that includes a fresh service level approach dubbed bridge financing as well as a new logo and new corporate colours.

The local company which specializes in working with capital finance for SMEs by offering financial services products which are tailor-made to meet unique needs of customers in different SME sectors.

“Most of small and medium scale enterprises’ growth rate is usually stunted by cash flow problems as well as lack of supplier confidence.

“At BizCapital, working capital finance is made available to deserving enterprises through invoice discounting on tailor made supplementary solutions such as purchase orders finance and inventory finance,” the company said Friday.

BizCapital Managing Director, Reuben Morapedi, said their financing is an [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Zimbabwe will be going to presidential and parliamentary elections at the end of March, offering the electorate – an estimated third of which is ‘holed up’ in exile – what appears to be a unique opportunity to save Robert Mugabe’s sinking Titanic. In addition to the Movement for Democratic Change, a chip off the old block, Simba Makoni, also joins the race, giving traditional ZANU voters a choice other than Mugabe. They should use it, RAMPHOLO MOLEFHE argues in this article.

The Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) fought a protracted armed struggle, employing the tactics that permitted Mao Tse Tung to encircle Chiang Kai Chiak’s troops and deliver the Chinese from centuries of dynastic rule that relegated the average peasant to the most backward of rustic life.

That way, the organisation dug into the hearts and minds of the rural population that guarded the paths of the guerillas as [continue reading]

Posted Mon, 10 Mar 2008

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in the South African market over 2007 has followed international trends, with the total deal volumes up 81% over the previous year, with the top ten deals coming in at R208.1-billion, a 51.5% increase over the top ten deals of 2006.

“For M&A in South Africa, 2007 will go down as a phenomenal year. International trends were reflected in the continued presence of private equity deals, and the tapering off of these transactions by the end of the year,” said Ernst & Young transaction advisory services director Dave Thayser in a company statement last week.

He was speaking ahead of the 11 March release of the Ernst & Young Review of Mergers & Acquisitions Activity for 2007.

“This trend was most evident in the sale of clothing retailer Edcon to a private equity consortium, which was the third largest overall deal in South Africa last year, and the largest private equity deal [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
10.03.2008 10:20:13 A

The case, in which two local banks, Barclays Bank and Standard Chartered, are demanding confirmation of provisional liquidation of Lobtrans PTY LTD and Lobatse Cash Store 1961 LTD for their indebtedness to them, has been postponed to April 3, 2008. The matter was initially set for February 22.
This follows an urgent application by Abdool Saned Asmal through his attorneys, Kamushinda Kaluzi Attorneys, on the one hand, objecting to the impending confirmation of provisional liquidation of his company Lobtrans, and another application by Rahim Khan, on behalf of former Lobtrans and Lobatse Cash Store workers, who sought the authority of the Court to appoint a certain Mr. Zinan from South Africa as their co-liquidator in the matter.

Reuben Kamushinda of Kamushinda Attorneys, said, “There is a general opinion that there are other options to explore, than liquidation, and thus our client’s instruction that we file opposing papers to oppose confirmation of provisional liquidation and therefore needed time to file opposing papers.”

Kamushinda said that they received instruction from Asmal in the [continue reading]

source: International Herald Tribune

The Associated Press

HARARE, Zimbabwe: President Robert Mugabe, campaigning for upcoming elections, has signed a new law requiring foreign- and white-owned businesses to hand over 51 percent control of their operations to blacks, state media reported Sunday.

Cranking up his campaign theme of “economic empowerment” in the impoverished African nation, Mugabe also unveiled plans to distribute tractors, generators, gasoline and cattle to black farmers who have resettled on white-owned land seized by the government since 2000.

“This equipment and implements now form a critical mass that should be deployed effectively so as to meaningfully uplift productivity levels,” the state-owned Sunday Mail reported Mugabe as saying at a Harare ceremony Saturday.

The new program comes three weeks before Zimbabweans vote in crucial presidential, parliamentary and local council elections in which Mugabe, 84, is running against former [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
10.03.2008 9:45:26 A

Martin Davies, a renowned expert on Africa-China relations, warned investors in Botswana to prepare Chinese sovereign wealth funds (SWF) which are chasing some investment opportunities across the African continent.

Speaking at a Stanbic Bank breakfast last week, Davies said China is using its sovereign wealth funds to assert its strategic interests.

“The Chinese see the current system as unfair and they are cutting the expensive middle man and are coming straight into Africa. In the next 15 to 20 years, we are going to see commodity market as we know it disrupted,” he said, referring to the commodities market which is set in European cities and United States of America.

In the recent past, China has poured money in a number of investment opportunities in Africa, including mining and banking sectors, in a bid to strategically position itself within the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi


The Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative could benefit significantly from the upcoming 7th African Venture Capital Association (AVCA) conference that will be hosted by Botswana in just under two weeks.

Speaking at a press conference at the IFSC yesterday, AVCA Managing Director Mawuli Ababio said members of the association, who include international investors and fund managers, are beginning to focus their investment in infrastructure development. “In the past few years, many equity funds and investment into the African continent have been channeled to infrastructure development,” Ababio said. “This country is going to need partnerships in areas like expansion of airports and roads.” Lesego Selotate, an Investment Associate at VPB, said the time had come for African money to be used to develop Africa. “About 70 percent of our funds are flowing to other directions,” Selotate said. “We want it to come back.” He noted that while Botswana’s fund managers had largely put their funds into offshore assets, the trend was changing, especially with the introduction of PPP. Selotate said PPPs were taking hold, citing Bifm, which has partnered with other consortia for the construction of the new SADC headquarters, as a good example.”If you look at our capital flows, there is a lot of liquidity chasing little assets. But it’s encouraging because the trend is changing. BPOPF (the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund) has allocated more money to this asset class, and we need to [continue reading]

source: allAfrica
Business Day (Johannesburg)

10 March 2008
Posted to the web 10 March 2008

Linda Ensor
Cape Town

Parliament’s communications committee is determined to end the long-standing stalemate between the treasury and state-owned signal carrier Sentech over funding for its broadband wireless strategy.

The committee has demanded that Sentech, treasury and communications department officials report back by May on progress made in dealing with the hurdles which have prevented the treasury from approving funds for the project.

Sentech aims to provide affordable and high-speed telecommunications access for schools, clinics and hospitals in rural areas. Key to the treasury’s reservations on this project has been its dissatisfaction with Sentech’s business plan, which it says lacks detail.

The communications committee called on the parties to explain the [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
10.03.2008 9:43:06 A

MRI, the medical and emergency services outfit which is struggling to recover from losses, has come under a spate of take-over bids from a group of suitors that include one of the giant medical aid schemes.

By Friday, details of the intended transactions were sketchy but Sunday Standard was able to establish that “the negotiations were at an advanced stage”. It is understood that the board meeting that was held on Friday was appraised of the new developments relating to the possible bid.

Three monied companies, which include a medical aid scheme-backed private equity funds, are eyeing the company which has been limping financially for the past three years.

Earlier last month, MRI issued a cautionary statement alerting its shareholders that the controlling shareholders of the company “have received a number of unsolicited proposals from [continue reading]

source: The Independent

By Basildon Peta in Johannesburg
Monday, 10 March 2008

Foreign firms operating in Zimbabwe will be required to give majority control to black Zimbabweans under a nationalisation law signed by President Robert Mugabe yesterday.

More than 70 British firms that have invested in Zimbabwe, including Lever Brothers, Barclays Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, BP, Rio Tinto, Merchant Bank of Central Africa and several enterprises owned by Anglo American Corporation, are among those likely to be hit by the new law unless they can persuade the government to halt its implementation.

But fighting a crunch presidential election in three weeks’ time, and eager to maintain the support of his cronies in the state security apparatus, Mr Mugabe is unlikely to back down on his new “empowerment” drive.

“It’s a catastrophe,” said Eddie Cross, an economist and former leader of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries. “This is totally unacceptable and many large foreign firms badly needed for economic revival in this country are simply going to abandon their businesses.”

Zimbabwean government sources said Mr Mugabe rushed to sign the [continue reading]