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LLR readying to absorb market shocks

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Property investment company, Letlole La Rona continues to find investment opportunities in various property sectors in Africa to achieve competitive returns. Commenting on the published results, LLR Chief Executive Officer Paul More said LLR will target sectors and markets in the continent and this will be informed by potential revenue and capital growth to be generated. “LLR will also target acquisitions that come with tenants of competitive covenant strength on long leases, as this will not only guarantee occupation, but also real growth in income through predetermined escalations,” said More.

He said the company continues to explore deals in the market with a view to creating diversified and efficient portfolio which could survive market shocks. LLR portfolio comprises 44 percent industrial, 34 percent leisure, 10 percent retail, seven percent office and three percent residential. In its year ended June 2017, LLR recorded 20 percent increase in profit to P63.8 million compared to P53 .2 million recorded in 2016.

More said the growth is primarily due to increased revenues including income of P6.3 million from the newly acquired investment in NBC as well as continued focus on creating operating efficiencies. Contractual rental revenue for the year ended 30 June 2017 was P75.9 million which is 13 percent increase from the prior year. “This growth was largely driven by effective management of vacancies, compounded annual escalations which are embedded in the lease agreements as well as rentals from Red Square,” stated More.

He said the company continues to enjoy capital appreciation of its portfolio because of its solid asset base. The company’s investment properties inclusive of operating lease assets are currently recorded at P739.4 million compared to previous year’s P710.1 million. LLR is the largest investor in industrial and hotel space of the Botswana Stock Exchange-listed property funds and these sectors have been resilient despite the current challenging trading environment. “Management is proactive in ensuring that vacancy levels are low and at close of the current financial year, vacancy rate for industrial and commercial portfolio was insignificant sitting at one percent,” said More. The gross yield for LLR portfolio for 2017 is 10 percent.

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Matambo calls on financial sector to pick GDP

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Finance Minister, kenneth Matambo

Finance Minister Kenneth Matambo has announced that government is committed to support financial service sector to prop up the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Currently contributing over 13 percent to GDP, Matambo said the sector has potential to increase its share. “Hence government’s interest in the sector,” said Matambo addressing delegates at the inaugural Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL), Global Financial Summit.

The country has built a strong, resilient and fast growing financial sector underpinned by a robust regulatory framework. The finance minister who is expected to step down next year, noted that government’s commitment to the financial service sector has this year been buttressed by a number of laws passed in July relating to money laundering activities.

In addition, Matambo said the continued investment in the development of information, communication and technologies (ICTs) backbone infrastructure is also to support local banks’ rising appetite for online services.

The Minister said the country remains committed to maintaining micro-economic stability to spur private sector participation in the economy. “Our vision is to become a high income country by 2036,” said Matambo, challenging the private sector to step forward and help government to develop the country, bemoaning the low levels of financial inclusion and shallow domestic capital markets.

He said the private sector should come up with more initiatives to develop further the local capital markets. The Minister’s sentiments were also shared by Martin Davies, Managing Director for Emerging Markets and Africa at Deloitte who has challenged the country to start dealing with its low manufacturing value add.

“How do we start to diversify beyond the single commodity economy,” quizzed Davies, adding that manufacturing increase is vital for low inequality across the country.

“Inequality results in bad public policy, as the state starts to believe and think they have to intervene more,” said Davies, highlighting that the country needs to move away from the absolute concept of state drive growth. Meanwhile, minister Matambo has applauded the private sector for leading economic dialogue in the country through events such as the BIHL Global Finance Summit.

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First Lady advises women entrepreneurs

Keikantse Lesemela

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First lady, Neo Masisi

First Lady, Neo Masisi has urged women entrepreneurs to bring change in the economic development of the country and the rest of Africa.

Speaking during the Lioness Lean in Africa breakfast on Friday, Masisi said women entrepreneurs are remarkable engines of economic growth and job creation. “I believe women entrepreneurs hold incredible potential and credentials on the continent because Africa has the highest percentage of women entrepreneurs in the world.

It is projected that millions of much needed jobs will be created over the next decade and these will be created predominantly through small businesses which are mostly run by women,” said Masisi.She highlighted that women entrepreneurs are also the most powerful engine for equitably distributing growth and they are also solutions for addressing inequality on the continent.

“It is a proven fact that for many generations, women understand the simple concept of barter and commerce. These are the role models of our past and our present and they will continue to inspire new generations to do more for business to grow,” she said.

The Lioness Lean In Breakfast Series brings together inspirational and successful women entrepreneurs to share, inspire and connect with the next generation of great women-led start-ups.

The platform is based on a breakfast networking and speaker presentation format, which has been organized in locations across the African continent for the past year by Lionesses of Africa, empowering over one million women entrepreneurs across the continent.

Stanbic Bank Botswana Head of Personal Markets, Omphemetse Dube said they are pleased to bring the Lionesses of Africa Lean In platform to Botswana once again to bring together women entrepreneurs in the country and help to nurture their growth further.

“Botswana is blessed with a number of thriving female entrepreneurs, and the potential for the next generation of talent is strong. Platforms such as this are therefore paramount in growing the cause and we as a bank are proud to help champion that movement further,” said Dube.

Founder and CEO of Lionesses of Africa,Melanie Hawken noted that Gaborone is a growing and exciting centre for women’s entrepreneurship in Africa. “This is a must-attend event for women entrepreneurs in the country as it gives them the opportunity to hear the inspiring entrepreneurial stories of women who are building great businesses here,” she said.

The annual Lionesses of Africa event allows entrepreneurs to benefit from the insights and advice of women entrepreneurs who have seen and experienced it all and to also provide an excellent opportunity for networking.

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