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NAP mitigates impact of BCL closure on its profits

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Property investment company New African Properties is focussing on the best management practices to sustain the company’s profitability on the back of the negative effects caused by the closure of Botswana Coal Limited mine in Selibe Phikwe. Commenting on the published results for the year ended July 2017, NAP Chairman John Mynhardt and Managing Director Tobias Mynhardt said the company has exposure to Selibe Phikwe which has been impacted by the closure of BCL last year.

“There has been an increase in both vacancies and arrears due to this and management is actively managing the affected properties to mitigate the impact as best as possible,” said Mynhardt. The exposure to Selibe Phikwe is 2.7 percent of the total property value and 3.4 percent of total rental at year end. The company has recorded five percent decline in profits to P199.4 million including non-distributable gains of P62.2 million against P82.4 million in 2016. Net asset value increased by five percent to P1.33 billion from P1.27 last year.

The company indicated that it has renewed 85 percent of leases expiring during the year at an average increase in line with normal escalations and re-let seven percent to new tenants at an average increase of 10.8 percent. Vacancies increased from 1.2 percent to 3.2 percent during the year and amounted to 4139 meter square at year end of which 424m2 has been let. Selibe Phikwe properties account for 1124 meter squared and 27 percent of total vacancies at year end. Mynhardt said the expiry of the leases in Selibe Phikwe is 64 percent, 14 percent and nine percent in each of the next three financial years and 13 percent thereafter.

The tenant composition by the end of the year was 53 percent listed and multinational companies, only one percent nationals, nine percent government and the balance of 37 percent smaller tenants.“It is however expected that the adverse conditions in Selibe Phikwe will continue and management will continue to focus on how best to manage this impact. NAP remains well positioned to fund developments and acquisitions with available debt capacity,” said Mynhardt.

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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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