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BPC announces first profit in a decade

The Botswana Power Corporation(BPC) has performed well above expectation as its recently released financial report highlights that the corporation’s operating income grew by 34 percent-which stood at P138 604 million in this current financial year against P103 544million of the previous year.

The improvement in BPC performance comes after the company has been experiencing a ten year drought since its last profit making year in 2008. BPC chairman Sebetlela Sebetlela revealed that their improvement in performance is owed to their efforts in making both Morupule A and B projects. When announcing the company’s milestone, Sebetlela never failed to announce the contribution of the two plants to the growth and performance of BPC.

Off the Morupule B Sebetlela said, “the combined effort of stabilizing Morupule B operation and competitive electricity trade on the SAPP market resulted in a cost reduction from BWP 1.964 billion in 2015/16 to BWP 1.514 billion in 2016/17, (a reduction of BWP 449 million).”
He also added that stabilization of Morupule B operation resulting in improvement of plant availability from 56% to 70% hence a significant reduction of power imports.

Government last month stopped in its tracks to sell Morupule B to a Chinese company after negotiations between two parties hit a snag. The plant cost P11 billion to build and it has been bleeding a lot of money from government since its inception and the contractor was blamed for mismanagement of the project.

“Recovery of Morupule A plant degradation and pollution abatement which will see the return to service of Morupule A Power Station providing 120MW generation capacity by end of December 2017,” said Sebetlela on Morupula A’s contribution to BPC’s healthy profits.
With this country having experienced less power crises in the 2016/17 period, Sebetlela lauded BPC saying the corporation has managed to achieve its strategic objectives amongst them being, stability of power supply and the financial turnaround of BPC.

According to BPC CEO Dr Stefan Schwarzfischer, the corporation is still going through an exercise of restructuring and that will see a much better BPC in future. “The power utility will be less reliant on subsidies from Government, become self-sufficient in power supply with improved customer service. Most importantly, we will also improve our supply of renewable energy to about 20 percent which is important as far as reduction of carbon emissions into the environment is concerned,” said Dr Schwarzfischer.

Coming with good performance, BPC made sure that its total operating expenditure reduced by 12 percent-was P4.3 billion in 2017 a decrease from P4.9 billion the previous year. BPC’s current liabilities also recorded a decline of 9 %, from P4.7 billion in 2017 to P4.27 billion in 2016. BPC’s non-current assets increased by 6 percent-to P17.806 billion compared to P16.734 billion in 2016.

However with the promising year BPC also recorded 3 percent decline in total revenue, 4 percent decrease in non-current liabilities and a 41 percent increase in total comprehensive loss (P140.247 million loss incurred compared to P99.61 million loss in 2016). Auditors of BPC raised a red flag on the corporation incurring losses as going concern. 

“The Corporation has incurred a loss of P1,807,747,000 (2016: P2,420,973,000) before taking into account the tariff subsidy grant received from the Government of the Republic of Botswana of P1,667,500,000 (2016: P2,321,360,000). In addition, as at 31 March 2017 the Corporation’s current liabilities exceed its current assets by P2,954,,790,000 (2016: 3,015,717,000). These conditions indicate the existence of a material uncertainty about the Corporation’s ability to continue as a going concern,” said the BPC report.

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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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