Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

source: Mmegi
Brian Benza
Staff Writer

Shares prices on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) weakened again last week with sellers outweighing buyers as the festive holiday’s profit-taking begins.

The November-December period is traditionally a profit-taking period on most bourses around the world with investors cashing in their stocks.

However, for this year’s season, the cash-in began rather late as investors were still riding high on the high wave of renewed confidence creeping back into the markets with the recovery of the world and the Botswana economy.

“Bearish market conditions persisted on the local bourse much to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
BRIAN BENZA
Staff writer

Sechaba Brewery Holding’s dwindling sales volumes of alcohol beverages is not a reflection of lower intake of alcohol in Botswana as consumers have migrated to less expensive imports than home brews, managing director Hloni Matshela has said.

Briefing the media on the company’s interim results for the half-year ended 30 September 2010, Matshela said that due to the unfair implementation of the alcohol levy which has made imports more affordable than locally-produced alcoholic beverages, their market share and profits continues to slide while the expected increment in the alcohol levy will see more consumers desert KBL and BBL beverages but not necessarily stop alcohol consumption. “I believe for the alcohol levy to serve its intended purpose, it must affect all the sellers in the same way. For some time now, we have been engaging the government to make them understand that the implementation of the levy gives an unfair advantage to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
MBONGENI MGUNI
Staff Writer

As the Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) counts the costs of a five-year freeze on rentals, indications are that government could continue its freeze on an area that accounts for the bulk of the Corporation’s revenues.

Rentals across the BHC’s 10, 300-strong portfolio of properties were last increased in 2005 while in the interim, the Corporation has struggled with higher inflation and materials’ supply costs, which have contributed to steep maintenance charges for the rental properties. Other overheads such as labour costs and fuel have also climbed over the years, while rental rates have remained stagnant.

The rentals also [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
MBONGENI MGUNI
Staff Writer

With a 52.2 percent increase on the previous year, the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) has posted year-end net profits of P181 million, the highest in 10 years.

The financials were released yesterday for the year ended March 31, 2010. BTC’s year-end results indicate that the utility’s net profits of P138.8 million in 2006 were the closest BTC came to this record-breaking performance.

The results also indicate that BTC’s operating revenues nearly touched the P1 billion mark at P958.4 million, up 14.7 percent from 2009.The parastatal was also able to shave P60 million off its debts for the year and halved the cost of its loans to [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
MBONGENI MGUNI
Staff Writer

Close to 9, 000 jobs were created in the economy between March and December 2009, underlining the resilience of the private sector and vindicating government’s budgetary support during last year’s recession.

The latest official data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) indicates that the private and parastatal sectors grew by 4, 665 jobs between March and December last year.

The data indicates growth was registered in sectors like Construction and Manufacturing, Wholesale and Retail Trade as well as Real Estate, all of which directly or indirectly benefited from the government’s P10.6 billion development budget in 2009/10.

The CSO statistics show that [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
BRIAN BENZA
Staff Writer

BSE-listed tourism concern, Chobe Holdings, has joined a growing list of Air Botswana castigators, labelling the national carrier’s sub-standard service as the single biggest challenge to the growth of the tourism industry in the country.

Announcing their financial results for the six months ended 31 August 2010, Chobe said Air Botswana’s failure to offer internationally acceptable service and its monopoly of routes into Northern Botswana was to the detriment of their business, which was heavily dependent on reliable air transport.

“The biggest challenge the tourism industry faces within Botswana remains the often sub-standard service rendered by Air Botswana, the only air carrier allowed to service the tourist industry in the Okavango,” said Managing Director, Jonathan Gibson.

“This situation has been further exacerbated by the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Lekopanye Mooketsi
Correspondent

Moladi, a cost-effective building technology was launched at the Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC) on Thursday. This is a building technology that has been adopted from South Africa.

Speaking at the launch, one of the representatives of the company, Dithologo Mmile, said the Moladi formwork construction system is an alternative to the conventional “brick and mortar” method of constructing houses.

According to him, it has been shown that with Moladi, the cost of construction can be reduced by 40 percent. Mmile said because housing development typically involve the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
BRIAN BENZA
Staff Writer

Shrenuj Botswana, a subsidiary of the Indian diamond giants Shrenuj and Company Group, is set to open Botswana’s first diamond jewellery manufacturing plant, thus putting the country on the road to becoming a regional diamond centre.

In an interview with Business Week, General Manager Kim Lanny said in Gaborone that the P30 million jewellery manufacturing operation at the Diamond Technology Park “will open later this month,” first producing jewelleries for the United States of America (US) market and later for the Southern African region.

“From the 16 DTC Sightholders, Shrenuj Botswana was the last company to start working in Botswana. However, it has become the first to expand through the diamond pipeline (Diamond manufacturing to fully-made jewellery). We are proud of it and I believe it shows our [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
07-11-2010

Tour operators this week angrily blamed the national air carrier for bad representation in the eyes of the travelers as their profits staggered in a year that was expected to have brought a windfall in the regional tourism industry.

“As noted before, perhaps the biggest single challenge the tourism industry faces within Botswana remains the often substandard service rendered by Air Botswana, the only scheduled air carrier allowed to service the tourist in the northern Botswana.

“This situation has been further exacerbated by the discontinuance of the direct Johannesburg/ Maun/ Johannesburg route, occasioned by our Civil Aviation Authority’s refusal to allow foreign-based airlines to compete with Air Botswana on this route thus necessitating an en-route diversion and stop in [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Prof Malema
05-11-2010

African Diamond Plc, the diamond company involved in AK 6 resources, has issued out a scheme of arrangement to shareholders, indicating that it is planning to de-list on both the London and Botswana Stock Exchanges (BSE), before the end of the year.

The move follows what was dubbed a “compelling” offer by Lucara when it proposed to acquire all African Diamonds shares and locking its shareholders into a much bigger company with operations in the southern African region.

The total value of the proposed transaction will be $ 82 million Canadian (US $ 80 million, P 528 million ) —representing a 27 percent upside — based on Lucara price and Canadian dollar exchange rate as at the close of [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
07-11-2010

Wilderness Holdings predicted that tough market conditions will continue in the medium term with bed night demand battered as traditional markets in the U.S and Europe remain affected by the credit crunch.

Unfavourable exchange rates, rising costs and recession in source markets remain some of the challenges for company that operates across the SADC countries.

Andy Payne, Chief Executive Officer of the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) and JSE listed company, said down ward pressure on yield was managed well while the business real grew in bed night sales.

“We do not expect much change in some markets. Our source markets (US and Europe) are in a precarious economic situation,” Payne pointed out at the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
BRIAN BENZA
Staff writer

Construction of the AK6 diamond mine in Boteti is set to take off in the next few months with full commissioning targeted for early 2012.

A statement released this week by joint-venture partners, Lucara Diamonds and African Diamonds, announcing a formal decision to proceed with development of the mine says the companies have received approval for construction and have concluded an agreement with the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) for bulk power supplies.

Senior staff have been recruited for the AK6 project, including the chief executive, the general manager, the finance manager, the human resources manager, and the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
BRIAN BENZA
Staff writer

Government is targeting to cut the national budget deficit to P6 billion in the next financial year (2011/12) from this year’s estimated P12 billion as it aims to achieve a balanced budget in the next two years.

The cut translates into six percent of GDP.

After posting deficits since 2008 due to the global economic crisis, Botswana now aims to match its revenues with expenditure by the financial year 2012/13

In an interview on the sidelines of the inaugural Budget Pitso in Gaborone yesterday, the Secretary for Economic and Financial Policy Dr Taufila Nyamadzabo said for the next budget, the government aims to have a ceiling of P6 billion in deficit as revenues improve and expenditure is curtailed. The next national budget will be announced by the Minister of Finance and Development Planning in [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

Failure to resolve a dispute over the lucrative air route between Johannesburg and Maun – the nearest airport to the Okavango swamps – means that neither South African Express nor Botswana Air is flying the route.

Botswana Air’s servicing of this route was terminated from October 1 and it is now only flying from Gaborone, which means that visitors to one of Botswana’s top tourist attractions have to stop off at Gaborone to get there.

South African Express CEO Inati Ntshanga told MPs yesterday that this “sad state of affairs” was due to the failure of negotiations to acquire equal access to the route.

South African Express was granted the right to fly from Johannesburg to Maun last year but this was later denied when Botswana’s aeronautical authority decided it was not ready to cope with a [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
BRIAN BENZA
Staff writer

The Bank of Botswana (BoB) has once again left the benchmark bank rate unmoved at 10 percent on the back of a favourable inflation outlook.

In its second last sitting of the year on Tuesday, BoB’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) proved its commitment to the neutral monetary policy stance where interest rates, which have not changed since the beginning of the year, are kept low in a bid to help the economy rebound from last year’s crisis.

In a statement released by its Head of Communications, Andrew Sesinyi, the central bank says the current state of the economy and assumptions on both the domestic and [continue reading]