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Prime Time upbeat on prospects for 2018

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Property Development Company, Prime Time sees prospects of good returns in 2018 with focus on its retail segment. The company Managing Director Alexander Kelly and Chairman Petronella Matumo said they are looking forward to Pilane Crossing Mall becoming a successful retail centre as tenants have now occupied the space. “In Botswana we look forward to Pilane Crossing becoming a successful retail centre, that it was originally envisaged to be,” states Kelly and Matumo. For its Botswana market, the company started construction at Setlhoa plot with a retail park concept for the home décor and design sector.

Two smaller extensions to existing centres are also underway with a one-shop extension at Sebele Centre and a fast food drive-through at Pilane Crossing where KFC will be opening in early 2018. Kelly and Matumo state in the Company’s 2017 annual report, that things are looking extremely positive for the 2018 financial year with Clicks, Jet, PEP and Ackermans having commenced trading in the final quarter of 2017.

In its year ended August 2017, the company achieved year-on-year increases in both revenues and operating profits before fair value adjustments. Lease revenue grew by 27 percent to P110 million, completed investment property by 34 percent to stand at P1.12 billion and the price per linked unit by four percent to end the year at P3.16.

Kelly and Matumo say the group is well positioned to take advantage of opportunities that may present themselves this year while management team is constantly searching for suitable investments, which will enable them to continue to grow the company and diversify into new markets. “We are pleased with what has been accomplished in the last year and look forward to growing the group further from the platform that has been established,” said Kelly and Matumo. In Zambia the company says demand for space at the newly-acquired Centro Kabulonga mall in Lusaka is strong with a waiting list for space including major regional and national brands. “The results of our geographical diversification into Zambia are now being seen.

“The Zambian operations contributed over 20 percent of the rental income for the current year and over the next few years this will increase significantly,” said Matumo and Kelly.

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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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