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Job cuts looming at African Alliance after BPOPF terminated contract

Following the boardroom wars between Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) and Choppies Enterprise Limited- African Alliance became the biggest loser after BPOPF terminated the P5 billion investment fund under its management.

The termination of the contract happened under unclear circumstances, with initial reports indicating that BPOPF was not happy with the approach adopted by African Alliance in the Choppies boardroom politics involving Chairman Festus Mogae and Chief Executive Officer, Ramachandran Ottapathu. When speaking to WeekendPost this week, African Alliance CEO, Sean Rasebotsa revealed that BPOPF summoned them to understand their positions on election of Directors on to the Choppies board last year September.

“We were instructed on how to vote during Choppies Extraordinary General Meeting (AGM). They actually instructed us on how to vote and they are entitled to do that. It is normal because ordinarily when they give us the mandate, they give us the power to their attorney to act on their behalf,” he shared. He also said they were given the rights to exercise proxy voting on their behalf. Rasebotsa said African Alliance followed the instruction to the letter, dispelling allegations that the decision to terminate the contract had anything to do with the Choppies saga.  

The CEO of African Alliance said prior to terminations of their contract, BPOPF originally invested P3 million equities and P1 million fixed income in 2015 but in 2018 they gave them another allocation of Kgori Capital to be their asset managers for another P1 billion which made it P4 billion under their management. “In 2018 they invited us to tender and we responded to the tender,” said Rasebotsa. Rasebotsa indicated that BPOPF resolved in 2019 to award the tender to African Alliance.

“They were reviewing all the mandates and they were giving us additional funds,” He said the additional funds was supposed to surplus more than P5 billion of the investment which was subject to satisfactory conclusion of the investment management agreement. Rasebotsa said the fund management company will retrench more than 50 percent of its staff by the end of January, with 11 employees being laid off.

He expressed his disappointment saying they wished they knew what reasons were prior to termination of the contract, as they did not have any issues around performance and also service issue. Rasebotsa said it might be a situation whereby they were expected to possibly vote in line with their instruction for other clients but they couldn’t do as an independent asset manager.

“We had a smaller number of pension fund that we also have shares to, but we have different views around the BPOPF, but it was not even material to the voting because it was less than one percent,” Rasebotsa said. The contract was supposed to be reviewed at the end of the three years.

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China’s GDP expands 3% in 2022 despite various pressures

2nd February 2023
China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by 3% year-on-year to 121.02 trillion yuan ($17.93 trillion) in 2022 despite being mired in various growth pressures, according to data from the National Bureau Statistics.

The annual growth rate beat a median economist forecast of 2.8% as polled by Reuters. The country’s fourth-quarter GDP growth of 2.9% also surpassed expectations for a 1.8% increase.

In 2022, the Chinese economy encountered more difficulties and challenges than was expected amid a complex domestic and international situation. However, NBS said economic growth stabilized after various measures were taken to shore up growth.

Industrial output rose 3.6% in 2022 over the previous year, while retail sales slightly shrank by 0.2% data show that fixed-asset investment increased 5.1% over 2021, with a 9.1% hike in manufacturing investment but a 10% fall in property investment.

China created 12.06 million new jobs in urban regions throughout the year, surpassing its annual target of 11 million, and officials have stressed the importance of continuing an employment-first policy in 2023.

Meanwhile, China tourism market is a step closer to robust recovery. Tourism operators are in high spirits because the market saw a good chance of a robust recovery during the Spring Festival holiday amid relaxed COVID-19 travel policies.

On January 27, the last day of the seven-day break, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism published an encouraging performance report of the tourism market. It said that domestic destinations and attractions received 308 million visits, up 23.1% year-on-year. The number is roughly 88.6% of that in 2019, they year before the pandemic hit.

According to the report, tourism-related revenue generated during the seven-day period was about 375.8 billion yuan ($55.41 billion), a year-on-year rise of 30%. The revenue was about 73% of that in 2019, the Ministry said.

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Jewellery manufacturing plant to create over 100 jobs

30th January 2023

The state of the art jewellery manufacturing plant that has been set up by international diamond and cutting company, KGK Diamonds Botswana will create over 100 jobs, of which 89 percent will be localized.

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Investors inject capital into Tsodilo Resources Company

25th January 2023

Local diamond and metal exploration company Tsodilo Resources Limited has negotiated a non-brokered private placement of 2,200, 914 units of the company at a price per unit of 0.20 US Dollars, which will provide gross proceeds to the company in the amount of C$440, 188. 20.

According to a statement from the group, proceeds from the private placement will be used for the betterment of the Xaudum iron formation project in Botswana and general corporate purposes.

The statement says every unit of the company will consist of a common share in the capital of the company and one Common Share purchase warrant of the company.

Each warrant will enable a holder to make a single purchase for the period of 24 months at an amount of $0.20. As per regularity requirements, the group indicates that the common shares and warrants will be subject to a four month plus a day hold period from date of closure.

Tsodilo is exempt from the formal valuation and minority shareholder approval requirements. This is for the reason that the fair market value of the private placement, insofar as it involves the director, is not more than 25% of the company’s market capitalization.

Tsodilo Resources Limited is an international diamond and metals exploration company engaged in the search for economic diamond and metal deposits at its Bosoto Limited and Gcwihaba Resources projects in Botswana.  The company has a 100% stake in Bosoto which holds the BK16 kimberlite project in the Orapa Kimberlite Field (OKF) in Botswana.

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