African Energy delists from BSE
African Energy, one of the companies exploring Botswana’s coal deposits has officially announced that it will delist from the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE), a process that has began and expected to be completed by 16th February this year.
In a statement released to investors on Friday, January 19th African Energy Resources Limited which has been listed on the venture capital board of the BSE since October 2011 will delists and only remain listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX). According to the statement there are currently 22 shareholders holding less that 0.3 % of the company’s shares on issues. The Company revealed in the statement that it no longer made business sense to remain listed on the BSE.
“While the company continues to pursue the development of the Sese JV Coal and Power Project, the Directors formed the view that the administrative costs and related obligations associated with maintaining the BSE listing are no longer justifiable,” underscores the statement. African Energy also explains that the shareholders subsequently voted in favour of the delisting from the BSE at the Annual General Meeting held on the 22nd of November last year. The details of the delisting further highlight that the process offers shareholders an opportunity to sell their shares through the BSE share Buyback.
Shareholders also have the alternative to retain their shares which could be transferred from the Botswana Register to ASX Register. “The BSE Share Buyback provides shareholders with the opportunity to sell their shares during period prior to the delisting of the shares from the BSE,” explains the statement. African Energy also says the date of delisting will be from the close of business on the 16 February and the BSE share Buy Back will be available to shareholders holding share in Botswana from 22 January 2018 until 09 February 2018.
African Energy Resources (AFR) Pty Ltd is Australian founded energy outfit which has operations in Botswana and Zambia. Recent report from the company reflects good progress in their multi million pula energy projects. The company is currently undertaking the development of multiple integrated power projects in Botswana to meet the increasing demand for power in the southern African region. Independent power producers like AFR are necessary to provide generation capacity to meet the current substantial supply deficits in the region and the forecast escalating demand.
The company has completed a Joint Venture Agreement with First Quantum Minerals Ltd to jointly develop power generation capacity at the Sese coal project. Sese is located in close to existing transmission infrastructure and can supply power anywhere into the southern Africa region by virtue of its central location. The company is also currently finalizing the identifying of a development partner for its Mmamantswe coal project located near South African Boarder.
“This project is designated for future power supply into South Africa as part of the Independent power procurement plan recently initiated by the Govt of South Africa,” observed African Energy management in their recent progress report released late last year. The company also shared that Sese JV Project continues to receive strong support from the Government of Botswana via the approval of a 25-year mining license for the project, plus the granting of a Manufacturing Development Approval Order which provides for a 5-year tax holiday from commercial completion followed by a 15% corporate tax rate for the power project.
African Energy says it remains well funded and carries no debt and has low corporate overheads. “Coupled with a strong development partner at the Sese JV Project, and a high-quality portfolio, the Company is well placed to develop major power projects for the region” read the statements from the company reiterating that the best out Botswana exploration will still be leveraged despite the delisting.
African Energy also has other projects apart from the Sese JV undertaking. This includes the 2.4 billion tonne Mmamabula West project which contains some of the best quality coal in Botswana in two 4-6m thick seams which are at 100-150m depth. A prefeasibility study has determined that low-cost underground mining presents an opportunity to produce affordable power station fuel from a conventional underground coal mine.
African Energy continues to develop this project and has as of now completed a detailed fuel specification for both coal seams for use in power generation. The company has also applied for Land Rights over the area to be developed which has been submitted together with the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for the project to the Department of Environmental Affairs in Botswana. The project includes a 600MW power station and a 4.5 Mtpa underground coal mine.
You may like
Grit divests from Letlole La Rona
Grit Services Limited, a member of the pan African real estate group, London Stock Exchange listed Grit Real Estate Income Group is divesting from Letlole La Rona Limited (LLR), a local real estate company established by government investment arm Botswana Development Corporation over a decade ago.
The Board of Directors of Letlole La Rona Limited this week announced in a statement to Unitholders that Grit Services Limited (‘Grit’) has informed them of its intention to exit its investment in the company.
Grit has been a material shareholder in LLR since 2019. On 07 March 2023, Grit sold 6 421 000 linked units, representing 2.29% of the Company’s total securities in issue, at a market value of BWP 22 537 710.
This trade follows previous sales of 6.79% in December 2022, as communicated to Unitholders on 10 January 2023, as well as a further sale of 4.78% (representing 13 347 068 linked units) on 24 February 2023 to various shareholders.
In aggregate, Grit has sold 13.9% shareholding in the Letlole La Rona between December 2022 and March 2023, resulting in current shareholding of 11.25% in the Company.
Letlole La Rona said in the statement that the exit process will take place in an orderly manner so as to maintain stability of the Company’s share price.
The statement explained that Grit’s sale of its entire shareholding in LLR is in line with its decision to exit investments where it does not have majority control, or where it has significant exposure to currencies other than US dollar, Euro or hard-currency-pegged revenue streams.
“Grit has announced similar decisions pertaining to certain of its hospitality assets in Mauritius recently. The Company would like to advise Unitholders that it remains focused on long-term value delivery to all stakeholders” LLR said
In July last year as part of their Go-to-Africa strategy Letlole La Rona acquired an initial 30% equity stake in Orbit Africa Logistics, with an option to increase this investment to 50%. OAL is a special purpose vehicle incorporated in Mauritius, owning an industrial asset in a prime industrial node in Nairobi, Kenya.
The co-investment was done alongside a wholly owned subsidiary of London listed Grit. The Orbit facility is situated on a prime industrial site on Mombasa Road, the principal route south of Nairobi center, serving the main industrial node, the port of Mombasa and the industrial town of Athi River and is strategically located 11 kilometers south of the international airport and 9.6 kilometers from the Inland Container Depot.
Grit shareholding in Letlole La Rona was seen as strategic for LLR, for the company to leverage on Grit’s already existing continental presence and expand its wings beyond Botswana borders as already delivered by Kenya transaction.
Media reports have however suggested that LLR and Grit have since late last year had fundamental disagreements on how to go about the Go-to-Africa strategy amongst other things, fuelled by alleged Botswana government interference on the affairs of LLR.
Government through LLR founding shareholder – Botswana Development Corporation has a controlling stake of around 40 percent in the company. Government is the sole shareholder of Botswana Development Corporation.
Letlole La Rona recently released their financial results for the six months ended December 2022, revenue increased by 4% to P50.2 million from P48.4 million in the prior comparative six months, whilst operating profit was up 8% to P36.5 million. Profit before tax of P49.7 million was reported, an increase of 8% on the prior comparative six months.
“We are encouraged by the strong results, notwithstanding a challenging economic environment. Our performance was mainly underpinned by annual lease escalations, our quality tenant base and below average market vacancy levels, especially in our warehouse portfolio,” Kamogelo Mowaneng, Letlole La Rona Chief Executive Officer commented.
LLR reported a weighted average lease expiry period of 3.3 years and escalation rates averaging 6.8% per annum for the period ended 31 December 2022.Its investment portfolio value increased by 14% year-on-year to close the period at P1.4 billion, mainly driven by the acquisition of a 30% stake in OAL in July 2022.
The Company also recorded a significant increase in other income, predominantly due to foreign exchange gains on the OAL shareholder loan. “We continue to explore pipeline opportunities locally, and regionally in line with our Go-to-Africa strategy and our interest remains on value-accretive investments,” Mowaneng said.
An interim distribution of 9.11 thebe per linked unit was declared on the 6th of February 2023 for the half-year period to 31 December 2022, comprising of a dividend of 0.05 thebe and debenture interest of 9.06 thebe per linked unit which will be paid to linked unit holders registered in the books of the Company at the close of business on 24 February 2023.
Stargems Group establishes Training Center in BW
Internationally-acclaimed diamond manufacturing company StarGems Group has established the Stargems Diamond Training Center which will be providing specialized training in diamond manufacturing and evaluation.
The Stargems Diamond Training Institute is located at the Stargems Group Botswana Unit in Gaborone.
“In accordance with the National Human Resource Development Strategy (NHRDS) which holds the principle that through education and skills development as well as the strategic alignment between national ambitions and individual capabilities, Botswana will become a prosperous, productive and innovative nation due to the quality and efficacy of its citizenry. The Training Centre will provide a range of modules in theory and in practice; from rough diamond evaluation to diamond grading and polishing for Batswana, at no cost for eight weeks. The internationally- recognized certificate offered in partnership with Harry Oppenheimer Diamond Training School presents invaluable opportunities for Batswana to access in the diamond industry locally and internationally. The initiative is an extension of our Corporate Social Investment to the community in which we operate,” said Vishal Shah, Stargems Group Managing Director, during the launch of the Stargems Diamond Training Center.
In order to participate in this rare opportunity, interested candidates are invited to submit a police clearance certificate and a BGCSE certificate only to the Stargems offices. Students who excel in these programs will have the chance to be onboarded by the Stargems Group. This serves as motivation for them to go through this training with a high level of seriousness.
“Community empowerment is one of our CSR principles. We believe that businesses can only thrive when their communities are well taken of. We are hoping that our presence will be impactful to various communities and economies. In the six countries that we are operating in, we have contributed through dedicating 10% of our revenues during COVID-19 to facilitate education, donating to hospitals and also to NGOs committed to supporting women and children living with HIV. One key issue that we are targeting in Botswana is the rate of unemployment amongst the youth. We are looking forward to working closely with the government and other relevant authorities to curb unemployment,” said Shah.
Currently, Stargems Group has employed 117 Batswana and they are looking forward to growing the numbers to 500 as the company grows. Majority of the employees will be graduates from the Stargems Diamond Training Center. This initiation has been received with open arms by the general public and stakeholders. During the launch, the Minister of Minerals and Energy, Honorable Lefoko Moagi, stated that the ministry fully endorses Stargems Diamond Training and will work closely with the Group to support and grow the initiative.
“As a ministry, we see this as an game changer that is aligned with one of the United Nations’ Six Priority Sustainable Development Goals, which is to Advance Opportunity and Impact for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). What Stargems Group is launching today will have a huge impact on the creation of employment in Botswana. An economy’s productivity rises as the number of educated workers increases as its skilled workmanship increases. It is not a secret that low skills perpetuate poverty and widen the inequality gap, therefore the development of skills has the potential to contribute significantly to structural transformation and economic growth by enhancing employability and helping the country become more competitive. We are grateful to see the emergence of industry players such as Stargems Group who have strived to create such opportunities that mitigate the negative effects of COVID-19 on the economy,” said the Minister of Minerals and Energy.
Food import bill slightly declines
The latest figures released by Statistics Botswana this week shows that food import bill for Botswana slightly declined from around P1.1 billion in November 2022 to around P981 million in December during the same year.
This content is locked
Login To Unlock The Content!