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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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Matambo calls on financial sector to pick GDP

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Finance Minister, kenneth Matambo

Finance Minister Kenneth Matambo has announced that government is committed to support financial service sector to prop up the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Currently contributing over 13 percent to GDP, Matambo said the sector has potential to increase its share. “Hence government’s interest in the sector,” said Matambo addressing delegates at the inaugural Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL), Global Financial Summit.

The country has built a strong, resilient and fast growing financial sector underpinned by a robust regulatory framework. The finance minister who is expected to step down next year, noted that government’s commitment to the financial service sector has this year been buttressed by a number of laws passed in July relating to money laundering activities.

In addition, Matambo said the continued investment in the development of information, communication and technologies (ICTs) backbone infrastructure is also to support local banks’ rising appetite for online services.

The Minister said the country remains committed to maintaining micro-economic stability to spur private sector participation in the economy. “Our vision is to become a high income country by 2036,” said Matambo, challenging the private sector to step forward and help government to develop the country, bemoaning the low levels of financial inclusion and shallow domestic capital markets.

He said the private sector should come up with more initiatives to develop further the local capital markets. The Minister’s sentiments were also shared by Martin Davies, Managing Director for Emerging Markets and Africa at Deloitte who has challenged the country to start dealing with its low manufacturing value add.

“How do we start to diversify beyond the single commodity economy,” quizzed Davies, adding that manufacturing increase is vital for low inequality across the country.

“Inequality results in bad public policy, as the state starts to believe and think they have to intervene more,” said Davies, highlighting that the country needs to move away from the absolute concept of state drive growth. Meanwhile, minister Matambo has applauded the private sector for leading economic dialogue in the country through events such as the BIHL Global Finance Summit.

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First Lady advises women entrepreneurs

Keikantse Lesemela

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First lady, Neo Masisi

First Lady, Neo Masisi has urged women entrepreneurs to bring change in the economic development of the country and the rest of Africa.

Speaking during the Lioness Lean in Africa breakfast on Friday, Masisi said women entrepreneurs are remarkable engines of economic growth and job creation. “I believe women entrepreneurs hold incredible potential and credentials on the continent because Africa has the highest percentage of women entrepreneurs in the world.

It is projected that millions of much needed jobs will be created over the next decade and these will be created predominantly through small businesses which are mostly run by women,” said Masisi.She highlighted that women entrepreneurs are also the most powerful engine for equitably distributing growth and they are also solutions for addressing inequality on the continent.

“It is a proven fact that for many generations, women understand the simple concept of barter and commerce. These are the role models of our past and our present and they will continue to inspire new generations to do more for business to grow,” she said.

The Lioness Lean In Breakfast Series brings together inspirational and successful women entrepreneurs to share, inspire and connect with the next generation of great women-led start-ups.

The platform is based on a breakfast networking and speaker presentation format, which has been organized in locations across the African continent for the past year by Lionesses of Africa, empowering over one million women entrepreneurs across the continent.

Stanbic Bank Botswana Head of Personal Markets, Omphemetse Dube said they are pleased to bring the Lionesses of Africa Lean In platform to Botswana once again to bring together women entrepreneurs in the country and help to nurture their growth further.

“Botswana is blessed with a number of thriving female entrepreneurs, and the potential for the next generation of talent is strong. Platforms such as this are therefore paramount in growing the cause and we as a bank are proud to help champion that movement further,” said Dube.

Founder and CEO of Lionesses of Africa,Melanie Hawken noted that Gaborone is a growing and exciting centre for women’s entrepreneurship in Africa. “This is a must-attend event for women entrepreneurs in the country as it gives them the opportunity to hear the inspiring entrepreneurial stories of women who are building great businesses here,” she said.

The annual Lionesses of Africa event allows entrepreneurs to benefit from the insights and advice of women entrepreneurs who have seen and experienced it all and to also provide an excellent opportunity for networking.

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