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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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OLOPENG HEAPS PRAISE ON BSE FINANCE CHALLENGE

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Minister Thapelo Olopeng

Botswana Stock Exchange’s annual finance and investment competition for secondary school students has been applauded by the Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Thapelo Olopeng.

The initiative, a capital market awareness tool that has been running for the past seven years, is increasing financial literacy and a culture of investment among young people. The initiative will see the country raise future billionaires through the stock markets. “It is a breath of fresh air to have tertiary students who are financially literate, who can manage their finances,” said the minister.

He urged students to invest even the smallest allowances they earn and have a hassle-free life after university. “Investing on the stock exchange is not only preserved for the rich, but for anyone with a bank account,” said Olopeng.

The minister said the secondary schools finance and investment competition is participation of the private sector in bridging the knowledge divide.Olopeng said the private sector participation augments his ministry’s efforts of providing and building knowledge and innovation through the development and implementation of the policy on tertiary education, research, science and technology to transform the economy from a resource based to a knowledge based.

“In this connection, we will continue to empower our students in order for them to lead better and successful lives which can propel them into the innovation ecosystem,” said Olopeng. BSE Chief Executive Officer, Thapelo Tsheole said the Senior Secondary Schools Finance and Investment Competition, first established in 2013 aims to sensitise and educate the student community about capital markets, with the strategic aim to increase financial literacy and promote a culture of investing at a young age.

The competition is open to all senior secondary schools across the country, including private and public senior secondary schools.

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WE ARE NOT USING DIAMONDS TO KILL ELEPHANTS, THAT’S HOGWASH! – BOTSWANA MINISTER

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Orapa Mine, part of Debswana

Botswana is not using diamonds to kill elephants as alleged by some conservationists after the southern African country announced plans to lift a ban on elephant hunting to address growing conflict between humans and wildlife, a government official has said.

Minister of mineral resources, Green technology and energy security Eric Molale told a mining conference in Gaborone on Monday that the activists were tarnishing the image of Botswana. “That’s hogwash because we as Botswana are [good] conservationists and it is us who worked hard to make sure these elephants [are] brought to the numbers that we do have now,” he said.

“When conflicts arise, it is through consultation, [that we] find out how we can best manage our resources. The people have spoken and we are going to be managing the elephants in the best way that we can.

“We are not culling, we have re-introduced the trophy hunting and if you take 400 elephants per annum for trophy hunting against the 3-5% annual growth rate of the elephant herd that we have…[we are] just barely scratching on the surface.”

Botswana has about 130 000 elephants, the world’s largest population.Molale said Botswana will remain focused on things that are beneficial to the country and will not be distracted by issues spread by people that are not even privy to how things are done in the country.

“We have, however, invited them to come and learn more about what we are doing so they can better understand those important aspects of flora and fauna…”The conflict between humans and elephants had gone up since the ban was introduced in 2014.

Tourism is the second source of foreign income in Botswana after diamonds and conservationists fear that the former will be affected is the government cull elephant.
[Rough and Polished]

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