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Christmas bargain!!!

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After months of speculation and waiting, prospective investors of Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL) can now go into Christmas fiesta, well aware that the company share price will be priced at P1, 00.

This is according to fresh information contained in the minutes of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) sitting of December 3, 2015. According to the documents, Public Enterprise Evaluation and Privatisation Agency (PEEPA), through finance ministry has submitted an application for the Enterprise Value and Share price of BTCL.

The submission has since been approved by the PPADB board, which puts the share price of the state telecoms company at P1, 00 and its value at P800 million. Speaking to Business Trends on Tuesday, transport and communications minister, Tshenolo Mabeo said he is aware that the company’s value and Initial Public Offer (IPO) share price has been concluded. “We want to launch the process (of the IPO) before the end of December,” disclosed the minister.

The IPO is launched at a time when most prospective consumers and investors have already committed their funds for December period. Mabeo said he is aware of that and the IPO will run for eight weeks, with possible extension so as to ensure all interested parties are given a fair chance of taking part in the whole process.

Previous valuations of BTCL stood at well over P2 billion. Is the current P800 million a fair value of the government parastatal? “Remember, at some point some assets of BTCL were separated to form BoFiNet. This means some of these assets have been transferred to the new entity. In valuing BTCL we have appointed a team of professionals. Who am I to doubt them?” he asked rhetorically.

BoFinet is a government-owned company, which sells wholesale telecommunications services to providers in the country. The IPO process of BTCL has been rigorous. Relevant stakeholders such as Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE), PPADB, BTCL, finance and development planning ministry, have been consulted, said the minister.

The BTCL listing has been delayed for several years now. The completion of the valuation of the fixed and non-fixed telecommunications company paves way for its subsequent listing at the BSE.

The actual listing is likely to be conducted in the first quarter of the next year. It will be the first of its kind in which a government entity is being part-sold under the privatisation process. Under the approved BTCL Transitional Act, 49 percent of the company will be ceded to local investors.

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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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