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FNBB empowers first time home owners

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First National Bank Botswana (FNBB) has launched a new mortgage known as the 105 percent Mortgage Offering solution.

The solution offers 100 percent financing for first time home ownership and five percent legal and administration fees cover. FNBB Head of Home Loans, Kelebogile Mading said the mortgage offering will benefit both aspiring home owners and the local property sector as it will empower prospective owners to purchase homes.

She said in turn this will stimulate the real estate market especially developers, to increase housing developments in order to capitalise on the increased potential for sales.

“We have identified that a substantial portion of the population is looking for property to buy within urban and peri-urban areas. However, the fees associated with home acquisition are substantial and customers require assistance in this regard. We therefore took it upon ourselves to provide a solution that caters for the needs of first time home owners and eliminate the financial constraints of paying deposit and legal fees,” said Mading.

She explained that the 105 percent mortgage solution finances purchases in urban areas whether an apartment or a house of up to P1, 200, 000.00 inclusive of respective legal fees.

“Candidates that qualify but are not currently FNB customers need not worry as they will be assisted with opening their new FNB cheque account to process their loan application. Through the FNB 105 percent Home Loan finance solution, owning a home in Botswana is now more affordable than ever before,” said Mading.

She said they have also revised the loan tenure upward to 25 years from the previous 20 years to boost both affordability and offer relief in the form of reduced instalments. In 2014 FNBB partnered with Botswana Housing Corporation to offer a 100 percent mortgage solution to encourage BHC sitting tenants to buy houses.

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‘Manufacturing holds key to economic growth’

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Barclays bank’s economist Naledi Madala has urged the country to consider manufacturing, as a key tailwind to drive the economy and reduce inequality.

She was speaking at a gathering organised by the bank which focused on economic outlook for 2019. “We should not make a mistake of leapfrogging without manufacturing,” said Madala, lamenting that the country’s diversification remains a pipeline dream, as the diamond is still the economy’s mainstay. She bemoaned that mining activities in the country could not spring forward diversification, though non-mining GDP has been steady over the years.

“Extractive industries are not good stepping stones for diversification, the sector does not prepare us for the next step,” said Madala at the Barclays’ Economic Outlook Forum Review 2019. The economist further noted that government should confront head-on challenges of productivity and competitiveness to attract the much needed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Though diversification efforts continue to hit a brick wall, Madala said the country should expect increased activities in the mining sector hinged to ramp up in coal production in the year ahead.

She also implored government to consider a welcoming attitude towards foreign investors and generous tax incentives to businesses that set up in the country. Madala is also upbeat that the use of public private partnership model could also help diversify the economy coupled with privitisation. “Privitisation will offer opportunities for growth, through the renewed optimism from government, as business confidence has improved,” said Madala.

She implored the government and the business community to access what is going to drive and hinder growth highlighting that key headwinds to growth are income inequality, diversification challenge and productivity, among others. “The pace of poverty reduction has slowed down, while income inequality goes up,” said Madala

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MINISTER BEWAILS BAD REPAYMENT BY YOUTH

Keikantse Lesemela

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Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development, Tshekedi Khama has told parliament his ministry continues to face challenges on the repayment of Youth Development Fund (YDF) loans.

Recently presenting the budget to Parliament, Khama said this financial year the ministry has received a total of 2582 YDF applications and approved 983of them to the value of P98 million. He said the programme attracts a high level of interest from youth but the ministry is only limited to funding a maximum of 1200 youth projects annually due to budget limitations.

“However the greatest challenge for the Fund is the repayment of the loan component by the majority of the youth businesses. The youth have advanced number of challenges for this including high rentals for operating spaces, low market access owing to tight competition and limited production capacities,” said Tshekedi, adding that they continue to pursue beneficiaries to repay the loans.

Out of the 919 businesses funded 1058 jobs have been created. The minister highlighted that disbursements of funds will continue to be undertaken until the end of the financial year. “The YDF is currently under review in line with the pronouncement made by the President, Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi in the State of the Nation Address, to improve beneficiaries through training, and encourage consortia and cooperatives,” said Tshekedi.

The ministry assists YDF beneficiaries in marketing their products and services through fairs and exhibitions. The ministry also runs entrepreneurship-training seminars for youth and in the past year 3692 young people were trained. Over 600 youth businesses attended fairs and exhibitions to market their products and services. Currently the ministry is collaborating with Local Enterprise Authority (LEA), First National Bank Botswana and Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) on training in entrepreneurship development and mentorship of YDF beneficiaries.

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