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BIHL Board puts extra P31.1 million on shareholders pockets

Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL) shareholders next month will be smiling all the way to the bank as Board of Directors of the Group decide to pay an extra dividend of 11 thebe per share (net of tax), being a total reflection of P31.1 million(net of tax).

For half year BIHL offered shareholders 44 thebe per share and for the year ending December 2019 the final normal dividend to be paid is 59 thebe per share (net of tax) or P166.6 million(net of tax). Furthermore BIHL board has resolved that an additional 11 thebe per share (net of tax) or P31.1 million (net of tax) be added on shareholders pockets. By April 20 BIHL should have paid a total of P322 million as dividends to shareholders. Group chairperson Batsho Pamela Dambe-Groth told shareholders when announcing the dividends on Wednesday that, “I am sure you will all be very pleased about.”

When making graphical presentation of the Abridged Audited Group results for the year ended 31 December 2019 BIHL Group CEO Kudakwashe Mukushi showed that since 2017. He showed that an interim dividend of 55 thebe was offered in 2017 before a final dividend of 67 thebe was paid. The same year, an additional 35 thebe was paid to shareholders. In 2018 after six months the BIHL offered shareholders 60 thebe before 67 thebe was paid end of the year. An additional 16 thebe was paid to shareholders in 2018 according to Mukushi.

“Overall, the Group remains well positioned in terms of capital management and solvency. This is always taken into consideration when calculating dividends. In determining the dividend, the Board ensures that its capital position remains solid and aligned with future capital requirements whilst sustaining healthy levels of Return on Group Equity Value,” said Dambe-Groth when announcing dividends during the December 2019 financial results presentation.

BIHL Group CEO Catherine Lesetedi was positive when taking the podium on the Wendesday results presentation saying, “the numbers speak for themselves.” She said BIHL has managed to survive the ever growing competitive environment ever since putting up shop 45 years ago. According to the latest financial results, BIHL Profit after tax went up by 19 percent to close the year at over P434 million compared to P366 million registered in the prior year.

This was bolstered by impressive revenue figures registered during the year. The Group raked in about P2.59 billion in revenue during the year ended 31st December 2019, up 8 percent from the P2.34 billion revenue registered in the prior year. Also operating profits for the Group during the year remained flat at P376 million as at December 2019 compared to prior year.  Operating profit for the life business increased by 3 percent over the year despite the difficult economic conditions and intensified competition.

“Growth in operating profit is mainly a result of good new business volumes from the group lines and low new business strain for our retail products,” explained Lesetedi on Wednesday. New business grew by 18 percent underpinned by strong performance on group lines. Recurring premium recorded a growth too.The value of new business, which represents the present value of future profits from new business premiums written during the year, increased by 8 percent from the previous year on the back of impressive new business volumes from the group lines.

The asset management business operating profit for the year was however 14 percent down compared to prior year due to pressure on the fees earned. The general insurance business was positively impacted by lower claims leading to a decent growth over last year; however BHIL has since sold this business as it streamlined its activities. Contribution of BIHL associate holdings and joint ventures which includes Pan African Micro lender Letshego and Funeral Services Group has increased by 169 percent due to lower impairment change compared to prior year.

In terms of segmental performance BIHL through Botswana Life , the country ‘s largest life insurance business realized net premium income growth of 11 percent from 2.35 billion in 2018 to 2.60 billion in 2019. Operating expenses increased above inflation as a result of the investment made on the 5-year strategy that was rolled out at the beginning of the year. Selling expenses also increased in line with the increase in income from group lines.

During the year, BIHL management launched the soft elements of the Life and More marketing campaign, a two-year campaign that is intended to support the five-year Se Sarona strategy with the purpose of brand positioning, client delight and elevating the advisory role as the narrative is scripted to demonstrate a problem and its solution which profiles Botswana Life products.

BIHL subsidiary Botswana Life also launched an extended family funeral cover called Masika Otlhe which the BIHL CEO said the product demonstrates their agility and commitment to innovation and predicting customer needs. On the Asset Management business which is mainly under Botswana Insurance Fund Limited (BFIM) operating profit for 2019 was flat when compared to the 2018 performance.  Total Assets under Management for the year were P27.3billion, a 5 percent growth from the 2018 assets under management.   

Company management says the main driver of the 2019 performance was the continued pressure on investment management fees hence lower margins. The Zambia business  on the other hand remained resilient despite the challenging economic conditions particularly in the 2nd half of  the year and  posted an overall 5 percent year on year growth in operating profit.

Included in this number is Zambia’s P4.2 billion and the remaining P23.1 billion represents asset directly managed by BIFM. During the year Management rolled out a new five year strategy which saw some new funds being introduced to the market. BIHL says the strategy is already bearing fruits with fresh mandates received for some of the new funds.  “We are cognisant of the highly competitive environment and will continue to focus on managing expenses and delivering value to clients,” Lesetedi noted.

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Business

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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Business

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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Business

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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