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BIHL Group expects positive results

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Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited will register a jump in profits for the year ended 31 December 2015 due to the company’s good performance during the period under review, the group said in cautionary statement.

The company said in a statement it was expecting better fortunes in 2015 as compared to 2014. “This is mainly driven by the good performance in some operating segments and positive investments,” stated the group which is listed on the domestic bourse.

“Accordingly, shareholders and investors are advised to exercise caution when trading in the company’s securities until such a time as a detailed announcement is made,” said the company.

The results will be published by 2 March 2016. The diversified financial house’s results for the year ended December 2014 showed the group’s operating profit standing at P287 million while investments in associate firms raked in P211 million in profits.

BIHL subsidiaries and associates is a broad based financial services organisation. It has the following wholly owned subsidiaries, Botswana Life Insurance Limited, Botswana Insurance Fund Management and Legal Guard.

BIHL also has investments in Letshego Holdings Limited, Funeral Services Group limited, Nico Holdings and Botswana insurance company. The company is listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange.The Botswana’s oldest insurance and asset management celebrated its 40 years of existence last year.

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Market Street day supports local products

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Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Bogolo Kenewendo has encouraged citizens to promote and support local products thus contributing to employment creation and economic development.

Speaking during the ministry’s Market Street day on Saturday, the trade minister said the ministry came up with the initiative to expose local products to the national market. “The plan is to keep growing so that we get Batswana products in the shops and get Batswana to know the products in the shops,” said Kenewendo. Market street day was initiated last year as a platform to add on to the continuing efforts to grow local businesses. This year, retail sector, including Shoprite, Choppies and Ackerman’s from South Africa participated in the exhibition.

Kenewendo pointed out that supporting local products helps reduce export of jobs. “Most of Batswana will say they don’t want to buy locally produced goods because they are of low quality, we need to buy from them so that they grow. When we buy products from other countries we are exporting jobs, why should we export jobs?” she asked rhetorically. Economic diversification drive should not be a Government initiative alone, only but all citizens should contribute, she concluded.

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Botswana behind in ease of doing business

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Botswana has been challenged to improve easy of doing business for the country to remain competitive amongst its peers.

The Director of Investor Facilitation and Relations at Special Economic Zones Authority’s (SEZA), Neo Mahube recently told delegates at the two- day investment symposium dubbed Doing Business in Botswana, Transitioning Botswana that the country needs to be globally competitive.“The world is growing better than we are, there is something that we are not doing right, despite our political stability and sound economic policies,” said Mahube.

Currently, Botswana lags behind Mauritius, Zambia, Kenya, South Africa on the ease of doing business, according to the latest World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report. Mahube said bottlenecks that investors and local startups face to register a business should be resolved.

“We need to transform the way we are doing business, if we are to bring businesses to Botswana,” said Mahube, adding that the country needs to be as efficient as possible to start a business, apart from improving credit efficiency.

She however applauded government for legislation amendment initiatives that have already been put in place ahead of the transformation journey. Mahube said through transforming the ease of doing business the country has potential to create employment.

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