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BSE narrows losses

The Botswana Stock Exchange appears to be making a recovery from the previous year’s slump that resulted in major equities losing value. The Domestic Company Index (DCI), which tracks the performance of local listed companies, ended the first quarter of the year weaker but better than the corresponding quarter in 2016.

The DCI started the year with 9389.34 points but has since lost 164.12 points in the last 3 months to close the first quarter at 9225.22 points. This means the DCI has declined by 1.68 percent, however, this compares favourably with 2016’s first quarter decline which stood at 3.8 percent. The narrowed loss in the first quarter of the year points to a slow recovery for the BSE’s DCI that declined by 11.3 percent in 2016. Moreover, the improvement in the first quarter of the year has brought down losses in the past 12 months to 9.54 percent.

The downward pressures exerted by certain sectors on the DCI in the previous year have spilled over to this quarter as the same sectors continue to affect the overall performance of the local bourse. In its 2016 market performance report, the BSE said the DCI’s decline of 11.3 percent in 2016 was attributable to the negative performance of the Retail & Wholesaling and the Banking sectors as well as the Financial Services & Insurance and the Information & Communications Technology (ICT) sectors.

During the first quarter of the year, the DCI’s losses were led by three retail titans from the influential Wholesaling and Retail sector. Leading the losses was Sechaba, the local brewing giant, which lost 22.2 percent in the quarter under review. The blue chip stock ended the quarter to trade at P21, a decline of 30 percent from its all time high price of P30. This has extended the stock’s decline to 26.3 percent in the past 12 months. Further complicating the matter for the brewer is the tough trading conditions it finds itself operating under. The group has warned shareholders to expect lower profits.

Sefalana, another key player in the Wholesaling and Retail sector, closed off the first quarter 17.7 percent under to trade at P10.70. This stock price is now 23.6 percent off its 12 month high price of P14. Sefalana’s stock has been on a steady decline since late last year, bringing its total losses in the past 12 months to 20.6 percent. The embattled furniture and consumer goods retailer, Furnmart, continues to struggle on the stock market after losing 7.1 percent in year to date returns. The stock which is trading at 0.65t is 39.3 percent lower than its 12 month high price of P1.07.

The banking sector which has recently been boosted by higher earnings from all the listed banks is yet to reach peak performance in the local stock market. First National Bank Botswana, the largest bank in the country and also the biggest company by market capitalization, has continued the downward trend that started last year into the first quarter of the year, dropping 7.1 percent to trade at P2.75. At the current stock price, the bank’s stock value has declined by 24.7 percent in the last 12 months.

Standard Chartered Bank of Botswana might have shocked many after declaring higher profits in its end of year results but the bank’s stock price continues to be under pressure following negative sentiments from investors that have been fuelled by the bank’s previous financial performances which was marked by declining profits. The oldest bank in the country closed the quarter under review trading at P7.35, down by 5.2 percent. This has extended the bank’s losses in the stock market to 31.9 percent in the past 12 months.

Letshego was the only loser in the Financial Services and Insurance sector after dropping 5.7 percent to trade at P2.16, stretching its losses in the last 12 months to 13.6 percent. At the current share price of P2.16, the stock is trading at 19.1 percent lower than its 12 month high price of P2.67.

Other notable losses in the first quarter of 2017 include the leading security and cash management firm, G4S, which dropped 2 percent in stock value to trade at P4, which means the stock has also dropped 2.4 percent from its 12 month high price of P4.10. However the stock’s returns remain solid over the 12 months period with returns of 10.5 percent. The decline of the DCI in the first quarter of the year, and the subsequent narrowing of losses from 2016 was offset by strong performances from mostly the same companies that had held firm in 2016 when the DCI tumbled.

Botswana Telecommunications Corporations Limited (BTCL)’s spectacular rebound has led the rally in the local equities board, rising sharply by 31 percent in the last three months to end the quarter trading at P1.28. At that price, the stock is trading at a premium of 28 percent from its listing price of P1 in April 2016. The stock spent most of 2016 being battered; even reaching lows of P0.85 thebe but in the fourth quarter of 2016 the stock began its rebound buoyed by strong financial performance and attractive dividend payouts. BTCL forms part of the broader Wholesaling and Retail sector on the BSE.

Barclays Bank Botswana continues to buck the trend in the banking sector as far as stock market performance is concerned. In 2016 the second largest bank in the country became the only banking stock to appreciate in value. Barclays has extended its exploits to this year’s first quarter, registering share price gain of 13.1 percent to trade at P5.70. The stock is trading at its all 12 month high, bringing total gains in the last 12 months to 25.3 percent.

The property sector has also shown its resilience in the first quarter as it tapped on the previous year’s overall satisfying performance for the sector. New African Properties (NAP) is becoming the investors’ favourite when it comes to picking up property stocks. NAP advanced by 7.1 percent to trade P3.15, ending the quarter at its highest price in 12 months. This also brings NAP’s gains to 15.8 percent in the last 12 months. Other property stocks that did well during the quarter under review involve Primetime and Letlole La Rona (LRR). Primetime is up by 1.9 percent to trade at P3.16, taking its overall gains in the past 12 months to 6.8 percent. LLR’s share price increased by 1.8 percent in the first 3 months of the year.

Choppies, the leading local grocer, is trying to stage a comeback from the dismal performance on the BSE in the previous year. Choppies which has set its eyes firmly on regional expansion had to watch its stock price plunge by 40 percent in 2016 following declining profits. The grocer whose recent half year results show a 49 percent decline in profits will be pleased with the first quarterly performance on the stock exchange. Choppies stock ended the quarter trading at P2.55, up by 6.3 percent. Nonetheless the stock price is off its 12 month high of P4.2o, representing a loss of 37.8 percent in the past 12 months.

The less influential tourism sector has brought its delightful performance from the previous year to this year’s first quarter as all listed tourism and leisure companies recorded gains. Chobe Holdings Limited ended the quarter trading at a 12 month high of P8.03, up by 4.3 percent. This brings the tourism outfit’s gains to 16.7 percent in the last 12 months. Cresta Marakanelo Limited-which led the rally last year by gaining the most- has advanced slightly by 1.8 percent to trade at P1.30 by end of quarter. While the stock is 0.8 percent off its 12 month high of P1.31, its gains remain solid at 17.1 percent in the past 12 months. Wilderness Holdings Limited ended the first quarter with an increase of 0.6 percent to trade at a 12 month high of P5.20, bringing its 12 month gains to 6.1 percent.

The financial services behemoth, Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL), held steady in the first quarter as the blue chip stock advanced by 2.8 percent. At the closing price of P18.05, the stock is trading at its 12 month high. In the past 12 months the stock has gained 15.7 percent. BIHL with its sprawling portfolio remains the favourite in the Financial Services and Insurance sector.

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Botswana records first trade surplus since January

7th October 2021

Botswana has recorded its first trade surplus for 2021 since the only one for the year in January.

The country’s exports for the month of July surpassed the value of imports, Statistics Botswana’s July International Merchandise Trade data reveals.

Released last Friday, the monthly trade digest reports a positive jump in the trade balance graph against the backdrop of a series of trade deficits in the preceding months since January this year.

According to the country’s significant data body, imports for the month were valued at P7.232 billion, reflecting a decline of 6.6 percent from the revised June 2021 value of P7.739 billion.

Total exports during the same month amounted to P7.605 billion, showing an increase of 6.1 percent over the revised June 2021 value of P7.170 billion.

A trade surplus of P373.2 million was recorded in July 2021. This follows a revised trade deficit of P568.7 million for June 2021.

For the total exports value of P7.605 billion, the Diamonds group accounted for 91.2 percent (P6.936 billion), followed by Machinery & Electrical Equipment and Salt & Soda Ash with 2.2 percent (P169.7 million) and 1.3 percent (P100.9 million) respectively.

Asia was the leading destination for Botswana exports, receiving 65.2 percent (P4.96 billion) of total exports during July 2021.

These exports mostly went to the UAE and India, having received 26.3 percent (P1. 99 billion) and 18.7 percent (P1.422 billion) of total exports, respectively. The top most exported commodity to the regional block was Diamonds.

Exports destined to the European Union amounted to P1.64 billion, accounting for 21.6 percent of total exports.

Belgium received almost all exports destined to the regional union, acquiring 21.5 percent (P1.6337 billion) of total exports during the reporting period.

The Diamonds group was the leading commodity group exported to the EU. The SACU region received exports valued at P790.7 million, representing 10.4 percent of total exports.

Diamonds and Salt & Soda Ash commodity groups accounted for 37.8 percent (P298.6 million) and 6.2 percent (P48.7 million) of total exports to the customs union.

South Africa received 9.8 percent (P745.0 million) of total exports during the month under review. The Diamonds group contributed 39.9 percent (P297.4 million) to all goods destined for the country.


In terms of imports, the SACU region contributed 62.7 percent (P4.534 billion) to total imports during July.

The topmost imported commodity groups from the SACU region were Fuel; Food, Beverages & Tobacco, and Machinery & Electrical Equipment with contributions of 33.3 percent (P1.510 billion), 17.4 percent (P789.4 million) and 12.7 percent (P576.7 million) to total imports from the region, respectively.

South Africa contributed 60.1 percent (P4.3497 billion) to total imports during July 2021.

Fuel accounted for 32.1 percent (P1.394 billion) of imports from that country. Food, Beverages & Tobacco contributed 17.7 percent (P772.0 million) to imports from South Africa.

Namibia contributed 2.0 percent (P141.1 million) to the overall imports during the period under review. Fuel was the main commodity imported from that country at 82.1 percent (P115.8 million).

During the months, imports representing 63.5 percent (P4.5904 billion) were transported into the country by Road.

Transportation of imports by Rail and Air accounted for 22.7 percent (P1.645 billion) and 13.8 percent (P996.2 million), respectively.

During the month, goods exported by Air amounted to P6, 999.2 million, accounting for 92.0 percent of total exports, while those leaving the country by Road were valued at P594.2 million (7.8 percent).

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The 2021/2022 Stanford Seed Transformation Program Begins

7th October 2021

Founders from twenty companies have been accepted into the program from Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa

The 4th Cohort of the Stanford Seed Transformation Program – Southern Africa (STP), a collaboration between Stanford Graduate School of Business and De Beers Group commenced classes on 20 September 2021. According to Otsile Mabeo, Vice President Corporate Affairs, De Beers Global Sightholder Sales: “We are excited to confirm that 20 companies have been accepted into the 4th Seed Transformation Programme from Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa. The STP is an important part of the De Beers Group Building Forever sustainability strategy and demonstrates our commitment to the ‘Partnering for Thriving Communities’ pillar that aims at enhancing enterprise development in countries where we operate in the Southern African region”. Jeffrey Prickett, Global Director of Stanford Seed: “Business owners and their key management team members undertake a 12-month intensive leadership program that includes sessions on strategy and finance, business ethics, and design thinking, all taught by world-renowned Stanford faculty and local business practitioners. The program is exclusively for business owners and teams of for-profit companies or for-profit social enterprises with annual company revenues of US$300,000 – US$15million.” The programme will be delivered fully virtually to comply with COVID 19 protocols. Out of the 20 companies, 6 are from Botswana, 1 Namibia, and 13 South Africa. Since the partnership’s inception, De Beers Group and Stanford Seed have supported 74 companies, 89 founders/CEOs, and approximately 750 senior-level managers to undertake the program in Southern Africa.

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Minergy overcomes challenges – improves revenue and produces record breaking coal sales to date

7th October 2021

Minergy, the coal mining and trading company with the Masama coal mine, this week released results for the year ended 30 June 2021. The company achieved revenue of P193 million (2020: P81 million) with significant improvement in sales volumes surpassing 415 000 tonnes sold for the year.

The performance was divided into two distinct periods with very different operating environments. The first eight-month period (July 2020 – February 2021), was negatively impacted by delayed funding, COVID-19 impacts and excessive rain; and the last four-month period (March – June 2021), was a more stable production environment moving toward nameplate capacity.

According to Minergy CEO, Morné du Plessis, production and sales initially recovered in July and August 2020 with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and recoveries were further bolstered by the successful launch of the rail siding. Delays experienced in concluding the funding contributed to contractors limiting operations to manage arrears.

“However, the heavy rains we experienced from December 2020 through February 2021 flooded the mine pit making access difficult and impacting both production and sales. Fortunately, the rain subsided in March 2021, and we entered a more stable environment, with a positive impact on operations. Good recoveries in production and sales were experienced during the last four-month period of the year, with the mine moving closer toward a breakeven position.”

“Despite these operational constraints, including the effects of COVID-19 on logistics and manning of shifts, we expect to reach consistent nameplate capacity in the 2022 financial year,” du Plessis added.


In addition to the revenue reported above, the company incurred costs of sales of P256 million (2020: P150 million) with operating costs of P23 million (2020: P31 million). This effectively resulted in an operating loss of P86 million (2020: P100 million). Finance costs of P51 million (2020: P17 million) were incurred, bringing the net loss before taxation to P136 million (2020: P117 million).

Du Plessis explains that the adverse conditions in the first eight-month period contributed to 86% of the gross loss, while the more stable four-month period alone contributed to 50% of total sales value, helping to decrease monthly gross losses, albeit below breakeven levels.

The company benefited from a strengthening in the South African Rand (“ZAR”) supporting higher back-on- mine sales prices.

“As announced, we’re pleased to have secured P125 million of additional convertible debt funding through the Minerals Development Company Botswana (Proprietary) Limited (“MDCB”). Minergy remains grateful for this support.”

He added that the first tranche of additional funding provided by the MDCB had been received in December 2020, which allowed Minergy to settle the majority of the contractor’s arrears and allowed their teams to be remobilised. The second and final tranche was paid post the financial year-end and will allow the business to reach nameplate capacity in the new financial year.”


Sales volumes increased by 110%, supported by increased sales in Botswana and internationally in South Africa and Namibia. Sales for June 2021 exceeded 56 000 tonnes, a record since the inception of the mine, with pricing increasing late in the financial year on the back of buoyant international prices and a strengthening ZAR.

Minergy also concluded a further 12-month off-take agreement to the existing off-take agreement, with a further agreement finalised post year end.

Overburden moved during the reporting period increased by 86% and extracted coal by 50%. Coal mined in June 2021 alone exceeded 100 000 tonnes. “This is a good performance considering the challenges faced such as sacrificing pre-stripping activities for a period to manage arrears, excessive rain and COVID-19,” du Plessis indicated.

“The wash plant was initially starved of coal due to the factors noted already. Despite this, overall plant throughput performance was 37% higher than 2020. Consistent output was supported by the completion of the Stage 2 rigid crushing section as well as the water saving dewatering screen with filter press contributing to a reduction in water usage of 60% per tonne of coal. A record throughput of more than 84 000 tonnes was achieved in March 2021 and this consistency has been maintained.”


According to du Plessis, the completion of Stage 4 of the Processing Plant, the rigid screening and stock handling section, remains a key optimisation step, which has associated benefits. “The completion was unfortunately delayed by a southern African wide shortage of structural steel but was commissioned post year-end.”

Minergy expects the positive momentum in international coal pricing for southern African coal to remain in place. Higher coal prices have resulted in coal being withdrawn from the inland market in favour of lucrative international markets. Du Plessis added that the regional market is currently under- supplied with sized coal, which supports higher pricing and new customer opportunities for Minergy.

“Our objective for the 2022 financial year is to achieve nameplate capacity by completing final ramp-up of operations. This will enable the company to generate sufficient cash flow to stabilise the business at breakeven or better. The bullish coal market is also providing support. COVID-19 will still be closely managed, and we look forward to the lifting of the State of Emergency, as announced, and trust that vaccination programmes will achieve herd immunity in Botswana during the next 12 months.”

Du Plessis expressed his excitement on prospects stating that, “The Eskom due diligence process is continuing, and we are hopeful of receiving feedback during the current financial year. In addition to this opportunity, Minergy is also investigating participation in the request by the Government of Botswana to provide a 300MW power station for which the company has been shortlisted.”

The approved process to issue shares for cash is showing positive leads and he concluded by saying that a listing in London is still being investigated.

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