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Financial closings…

STAFF WRITER
Moses Pelaelo. PIC. MORERI SEJAKGOMO
2018 Financial closings…

On a high

In his second year as Bank of Botswana governor, Moses Pelaelo steered the central bank through continued monetary policy and banking sector stability. Inflation remained well within the three to six percent medium term range, twice dipping below the lower limit, in March and September. Local commercial banks enjoyed a record-breaking year, with their collective profits rising to P1.33 billion in the third quarter, nearly 60% on the corresponding period last year. Despite a mini “crash” in September due to the fall of the Turkish Lira, the pula remained generally stable against the US dollar. In the 12 months to November, the pula had only lost 1.5 percent against the US dollar and 1.5 percent against the rand.

Wildly happy

By press time this week, Wilderness Holdings was set to be crowned the Botswana Stock Exchange’s (BSE) top gainer of the year, earning its investors nearly 20% on their shares from the beginning of the year. In October, the company unveiled sparkling results, with pre-tax interim profits of P211.9 million, 57% higher than the corresponding period in 2017.

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Those numbers were a continuation of a period of strong performances from the pan-African travel and tourism group. In a year in which the BSE’s main board fell by more than 11%, Wilderness’ performance was a ray of light for investors.

History made

Botswana Stock Exchange Limited CEO, Thapelo Tsheole steered the local bourse into the history books in August this year, with the demutualisation of the exchange. After years of fits and starts, the exhaustive process was finalised earlier this year and from August 2, the exchange transformed from a member owned, not-for-profit entity to a for-profit, investor-owned corporation. Under its new structure, BSE Limited is 81.3% owned by government, with other shareholders being its stockbrokers, Stockbrokers Botswana (5.75 percent), Imara Capital (5.75 percent), Motswedi Securities (4.32 percent) and African Alliance (2.88 percent). Tsheole has said the Exchange’s forthcoming targets include boosting market capitalisation from 34% of GDP to 40% by 2021. The strategic plan also envisages increasing the number of domestic listed companies from 24 to 30 by 2021.



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