The Bank of Botswana (BoB) has maintained the lending rate at 5.5 percent saying the medium-term outlook for inflation and domestic growth were within its targets.
In 2016 alone the BoB cut the interest rate once in a bid to spur credit growth by 50 basis points in August as inflation continued to be within the lower end of the medium term objective.
Inflation increased from a historic low of 2.6 per cent in August to 2.8 per cent in September.
“The current state of the economy and both the domestic and external economic outlook, including the inflation forecast, suggest that the prevailing monetary policy stance is consistent with maintaining inflation within the Bank’s medium-term objective range of 3 – 6 percent,”.
Subdued domestic demand pressures and benign foreign price developments contribute to the positive inflation outlook in the medium term.
“This outlook is subject to downside risks emanating from sluggish global economic activity and the resultant low commodity prices,” BoB stated.
The bank states that the outlook could be affected by any unanticipated large increases in administered prices and government levies as well as international oil and food prices beyond current forecasts.
On economic growth, the Central Bank states that global output is projected to grow by 3.1 per cent in 2016, from 3.2 per cent in 2015, and 3.4 per cent in 2017.
Economic performance across the world however remains uneven, with challenges relating to economic restructuring in both developed and emerging market economies.
“In addition, uncertainty arising from the June 2016 decision by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union could further constrain medium-term growth prospects,” the release states citing the ‘Brexit’ vote.
In Botswana, real GDP is estimated to have contracted by 0.3 percent in the twelve months to June 2016, compared to growth of 3.1 percent in June 2015, thus reflecting the decline of 23 percent in mining production.
Non-mining output increased by 4 percent.
Monetary policy is also aligned with the need to safeguard financial stability,” it said. “Credit growth is assessed to be at a sustainable level, thus posing no threat to financial stability.”
Despite the central bank’s efforts, credit growth or issuing new loans is expected to remain muted due to tighter credit standards as a reaction to high level of indebtedness and compressed real income levels within households and a challenging business environment.
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.
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.
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.