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Too early to judge new P10 Polymer banknote – BoB

Bank of Botswana (BoB) has stated that it is too early to judge the quality of the new P10 Polymer banknote as poor.On February 1, 2018, the Bank of Botswana issued a new P10 polymer banknote into circulation.

BoB took the decision in response to persistent public concerns regarding the poor quality of the old circulating P10 paper banknote. However, a year later, there have been public concerns that  the new polymer banknote like its predecessor is of poor quality as it fades quickly and cannot be dispensed by some on banks Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs.)

BoB Communications Manager Mareledi Selabe explained in a response to questions that BoB is aware of public concerns regarding the manner in which the P10 polymer banknote fades as it gets older and stays longer in circulation, particularly the fading of the print at the back of the banknote.  

However, she stated that the condition is caused by mishandling of the banknote by the public, not it's quality. She stated: “This mainly results from the improper handling of the banknote; public education campaigns continue to be carried out to sensitize members of the public on proper handling.”  She said, furthermore, the Bank has engaged commercial banks, large retail shops and wholesalers to ensure a wider distribution of the banknote and the return of soiled banknotes to the Bank for sorting and, where appropriate and necessary, destruction.

She said as the Agency with sole right and authority to procure the printing of banknotes and the minting of coin denominated in Pula and thebe, the BoB has overall responsibility to maintain public confidence in the national currency; issue into circulation banknotes of good quality and of such denominations, composition and form to adequately meet the demands of the economy of Botswana.

According to Selabe, the P10 Polymer banknote was issued to improve the circulation life of the P10 banknote and, also, benefit from the polymer substrate to enhance certain security features of the banknote. She said It was expected that, as had been shown by the experience and evidence in other jurisdictions where polymer banknotes are widely used, that if properly handled, the polymer P10 banknote can last for a period 3 to  4 times that of the paper banknote. The longevity also, over time, results in lower costs of currency procurement and the associated reduction in environmental impact.

Selabe says notwithstanding the evidence from elsewhere, it is considered early to make an informed determination regarding the extent to which this objective has been achieved citing  a number of factors. “First, only a few of the P10 banknotes were actually issued into circulation because of commercial banks not using ATMs to dispense them.

Second, as the smallest banknote denomination, the P10 banknote is used as change by retail outlets and many traders and/or members of the public may hold onto it , and not return the soiled banknotes  to the Bank  for sorting and destruction, as may be necessary. Third, having been launched into circulation on February 1, 2018, the banknote is still relatively new in circulation for a conclusive evaluation on its performance in the Botswana environment. However, the Bank continues to monitor its acceptance and performance. “

Asked if there is any likelihood of the banknote being replaced, she reaffirmed the response that it is too early to make an informed determination on the performance of the polymer banknote. However, the Bank continues to monitor its performance and necessary steps will be taken to ensure that appropriate quality banknotes are in circulation adding they expect the P10 polymer banknote to last longer than the cotton substrate and be more cost-effective.

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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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