Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL) Group, one of the largest financial services Group on the Botswana Stock Exchange, continues to make great strides in evolving into a fully-fledged financial services operation. Progress made in alignment with the Group’s strategy was shared by Group CEO, Mrs. Catherine Lesetedi-Letegele, along with outline of the financial results for the six months ended 30 June 2016, before key stakeholders at a recent engagement hosted by the Group.
The results point to continued strong performance across the Group, set against a climate of economic volatility, both at home and abroad. Worldwide economic growth and subdued levels of employment creation remain topical issues amidst fragility of key players in the global market. “Increasing shareholder value remains paramount to our existence. It is what drives us and guides us. It is also important to note that although it is our wish to deliver good results, we are not exempt from external forces that put us at the risk of a declining shareholder value,” noted BIHL Group Chair, Mrs. Batsho Dambe-Groth.
Key financial highlights shared include:
Assets under management increased by 2% to P21 billion. Net insurance premium income decreased by 11% to P 1.17 billion
Fee revenue decreased by 8% to P 42 million
Value of new business remained at P 78.9 million. Operating profit decreased by 6% to P 177 million
Core earnings decreased by 3% to P 208 million
Profit attributable to equity holders decreased by 8% to P 264 million
Embedded value yielded a steady increment of 2% to P4.2 billion from P4.1 billion in first half of 2015. The embedded value represents an estimate of the value of the Group, excluding the value attributable to minority interests and goodwill attributable to future new business. The embedded value was positively affected by good operating earnings, especially from the life business. The embedded value sustained an allowance for P281.1 million dividends paid during the year.
Operating profit for the life business achieved a moderate growth of 2 percent to P192 million from P188 million in the comparative six months. This performance came on the back of good performance on recurring premium business, which is naturally a more sustainable profit generator in the long term. The asset management business was adversely affected by underperforming global equity markets, while legal insurance was adversely affected by additional claims and increased operational costs. The general insurance business, however, showed growth in recurring premium income by an impressive 8% from P486 million in June 2015 to P530 million during the first 6 months of 2016.
Share of profit of associates witnessed an anticipated increment of 38 percent to P117.6 million in this reporting period compared to P85.2 million in the first half of 2015. This was due to increased shareholdings in Funeral Services Group (FSG) and Letshego Holdings Limited, and recent investments in associates Botswana Insurance Company Limited and Nico Holdings Limited.
Concluded Mrs. Batsho Dambe-Groth, “Despite these uncertain times, we continue yield growth and sustain profitability across the Business. It is pleasing to note that BIHL Group continues to work towards not only driving value for our customers that benefit from our seamless, competitive and relevant solutions across our subsidiaries, and shareholders who continue to reap good returns on their investments; but we have continued to explore opportunities that build us stronger relationships in the community through our various social projects. As a Group, we continue to focus on diversifying our profit sources through acquisitions in financial services as well as consolidating our new acquisitions. We press on to improve ourselves in every moment and continue to refine our basket of services, in order to reach full circle on realising an all-encompassing customer experience that provides for their needs today and is a fortress to rely on for theirs and their families’ futures tomorrow.”
Prices for cereals or staple foods in Botswana and other Southern African countries continue to rise at a slower pace, following trends in the global markets, according to the latest November 2022 Food Price Monitoring and Analysis by Food Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.
Running a digital businessMTN Business Solutions Botswana, popularly known as MTN Business is an Internet Service Provider. We are a subsidiary of MTN Group Limited, a multinational telecommunications Group headquartered in South Africa, which operates in 19 markets across Africa and the Middle East.
More and more, clients are looking for ways to keep their staff productive in a dynamically changing business environment. Whether your people are working from home, the office or abroad, there is a growing recognition that digitising your operations can offer unprecedented commercial value in flexibility, productivity and growth. This new, digital reality means that it is more important than ever to stay agile – if there is anything that can slow a business down, it is being burdened by othatld technology.
Having made substantial investments in fibre technology, high-speed terrestrial and undersea networks and new frequency spectrum across the markets wherein it operates, MTN is perfectly positioned to respond to this shift in the market.
A few years ago, MTN also made the decision to build an IP capable radio network for its mobile services, giving its core network the ability to seamlessly integrate with enterprise IP networks. The mobile towers deliver services to enterprise clients absolutely anywhere it has a network, shortening the last mile and removing complexity and cost.
Now there is increasing demand from clients to connect their remote sites in all areas, including rural and semi- rural. MTN has assisted clients with overcoming this connectivity hurdle, enabling their staff to get the job done wherever they are.
For MTN, the focus has shifted from just being a core telecommunications services provider, towards also becoming a technology solutions provider. The service offering now also includes Unified Communications, Data Hosting and Cloud Solutions, Security-As-A-Service and Managed Network Services. The scope has changed to being client and industry specific, so the requirements and service portfolio vary from one client to the next. The expectation is that a company like MTN must respond to these challenges, helping clients to get business done better as they shift from old to new technologies.
As many businesses continue to grapple with a digitally dynamic world, they face new challenges that have to be solved. This environment will benefit those that are more digitally enabled and agile. It is a brave new world that will favour online over on-site, wireless over wired and fluid over formulaic. Businesses will seek out partners and suppliers that are every bit as flexible and forward-looking as they are.
Ultimately, clients need partners like MTN Business that will invest in infrastructure, deliver the services they require, have market credibility, are financially sound and have a long-term commitment to their market presence.
Botswana Institution Of Engineers (BIE), has last week hosted a gala dinner in which they appreciated engineers who worked tirelessly and with dedication for 10 years from 1983 to steer the BIE to its current status.
The event that was held at the Phakalane Golf Estate had brought together young, experienced and veteran engineers and was held under the theme “Vitalize the dignity and eminence of all professional engineers”.
Explaining the theme, the institution’s treasurer, Thanabalasingam Raveendran said that engineers were looked upon reverentially with respect as the educated but with time it seems to have deteriorated. He indicated that there is a need to change the narrative by all means.
“The BIE exists for the welfare and the betterment of us Botswana engineers, we need to recognize specialised units within our Institution. We Engineers strongly believe in Engineers make it happen” Raveendran said.
He indicated that under the theme they appeal to all engineers to energize, to attain quality of being worthy of honour and respect and to achieve recognized superiority amongst the Society.
Raveendran stated that engineers need to ensure their end product is of good quality satisfying the end users expectations and engineers must be honest in their work.
“Approximately 8000 engineers registered with Engineering Regulatory Board (ERB) are not members of the BIE, engineers need to make every effort to recruit them to BIE” he said.
He alluded that BIE being a society, it currently needs to upgrade itself at par with professional institutions elsewhere like the UK and USA.
He further stated that BIE has to have engineering units of specialised disciplines like Civil/Mechanical/electrical etc
“As President Masisi indicated in his inaugural speech, the young people, who make 60 percent of the population of this country, are the future leaders and therefore investing in them is building the bridge to the future” said Raveendran
Kandima indicated that BIE has a memorandum of Understanding with Engineers Registration Board (ERB), where BIE is a recognised provider of CPD training, mentorship programmes and more importantly IPD undertaking to upgrade the skills and know-how of our engineers.
“For us to achieve our mandate and make worthwhile changes to engineering in Botswana, we have to be totally focused and act with intent” said Kandima.
Furthermore, Stephen Williams, past president of the BIE from 1986-1988 told the engineers that the BIE provides a fertile environment where they can meet, share ideas and grow professionally.
“The BIE is also a nesting place for graduate engineers to learn from their peers and seniors, it also cater for engineering technicians and technologists and so nobody in the technology field is left out” he said.
He further indicated that Botswana Government provides a conductive environment for growth of engineering professionals.
“It must be stated that the Botswana Government recognises the existence of BIE and it can further be stated that the government enables ERB to carry out its mandate as a regulator of engineering professionals” said Williams
He plead with engineering companies to recognize and support BIE as it is the only source of engineering personnel’s for various Industries .
Furthermore, when giving his farewell speech, Michael Pinard , a past president of the institution said how they are viewed as engineers by the general public might be due to some lack of appreciation as to exactly what role they play in the development of the country.
“The BIE slogan is aptly coined-Engineers make it happen, in other words, what man dreams engineers create” Said Pinard.