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Standard Bank Botswana optimistic of 2023

Local banking entity listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange, Standard Chartered Botswana has expressed optimism that it may record exceptional results in 2023, following the implementation of digitalization strategy and improving trading conditions in the domestic economy this year.

In the latest update released by Botswana Stock Exchange last week, the Bank’ Board Chairperson Doreen Khama indicated that in 2022 the implementation of digitization strategy resulted with the bank recording strong financial results.

According to Khama the implementation of the bank digitization strategy has resulted in continued sustainable gains with the bank’s operating income growing by 22% and the cost-to-income ratio down from 89% to 67% for the year. Standard Chartered Bank Botswana financial results shows that for the year 2022 the bank reported a profit before tax of P253 million representing a 229% year on year increase. Profit after tax rose by 235% to P202 million. Return on equity improved to 17% compared to 5.8% increase in 2021. Operating income increased by 22% to P903 million. Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) was at 17% against 22% the regulatory requirement of 12.5% in 2022. The results show that Total loans and advances by released by the bank rose by 1% to BWP7.8 billion while customer deposits grew by 3% year on year to BWP13 billion.

“As you will see, our results are proof that the Bank’s strategy is bearing the desired results for the shareholder, our employees, and importantly, our clients. Our prior years’ performance is testament to the hard work and commitment to strategy by the management and employees of the Bank, which ultimately saw the Bank’s income increase year on year by 22%. The positive performance signified a continuing resuscitation of the countries’ economy and the Banks performance. The Bank reported a profit before tax of P253 million representing a 229% year on year increase,” said Khama.

The board chairperson stated that in 2023 management will work harder to truly unleash the full potential of the franchise. She noted that the local bank seek to improve its efficiencies and continue to build on the great work started in 2022. “As we look towards 2023, I assure you that we have the right mix of skills and experience in our Board, Management team and the employees, who will continue to lead the Bank forward. We will continue to be deliberate in our actions as we drive to not only grow the business, but to also ensure that we impact our employees and the communities we operate in.”

Standard Chartered Bank CEO Mpho Masupe stated that the bank’s digital platform and proposition remains unmatched and added that the bank continues to improve its digital services to its clients. “We now offer over 72 services on the digital platform and are the first and still the only Bank in the market that offers end to end digital account opening – since the launch of this functionality we have opened over 39,000 accounts from all over Botswana driving financial inclusion.”

The CEO stated that with client centricity in mind, the Bank leveraged on its unique global network, as it launched the Chinese Renminbi (RMB) as a fifth major currency in Botswana. “This is a first in the market that allows clients to hold a Renminbi account in Botswana and transfer payments directly to suppliers and beneficiaries in China. Our goal for 2023 is to scale business profitably, powered by digitization and partnerships and become the top network bank for our clients, leveraging on our international footprint and digital capabilities.”

Masupe stated that the bank has maintained focus on growing the affluent segment and has adopted a new operating model that is well resourced. “We will be accelerating our growth in this segment as we leverage on our global and local insights to offer personalized wealth advice.”

Our ability to remain resilient, both globally and at home, have seen the bank successfully navigating through the multiple upheavals that have affected operating environment for commercial banks. “Most recently, we have undergone tremendous pressure through the COVID 19 pandemic, which devastated the global economy, this, coupled with elevated inflations which were exacerbated by geo-political tensions made for a challenging operating environment. Despite these, the Bank has remained resilient and has made good progress and is on track to deliver and surpass the strategy it launched in 2020. Despite the geopolitical unrest in Ukraine and Kenya which had a telling impact on global economies and international trade, the Bank delivered a strong financial performance in 2022. The Bank recorded the highest revenue growth in 2022, when compared to other locally based banks.”

“As we make significant strides with our digital strategy, we recently launched Agent Banking which allows us to deliver holistic everyday banking solutions to a larger population. We are optimistic about 2023, largely based on the sound fundamentals that we have in place for sustainable business growth. Moreover, given the encouraging macroeconomic fundamentals and stable outlook, we are confident that these positive sentiments will translate into growth within the economy and thus giving us an opportunity to pursue business and deliver value to our shareholders,” said Masupe.

Standard Chartered Bank Botswana management noted that the Consumer, Private and Business Banking (CPBB) continued to grow through digital channels and introduced new ways of distribution to serve individuals and small-medium businesses. “With over 72 services available on self-service platforms such as the SC Mobile app, digital adoption stands at 76% and our acquisition rate is 99% digital.”

The management noted that the bank’s investments in digital platform to deliver digital strategy continue to yield positive results. “Our strategy on digital is an ongoing one as we plan to continue to increase efficiency on our world class banking platform. The digital strategy aims to avail a full digital experience to our clients for any transaction they undertake with the Bank and reduce cost to serve (cost declined 27% year on year).”

The management stated that the bank’s transition to becoming a truly digital Bank delivered strong financials in 2022 despite the uncertainty characterized by both the local and global operating environment. “Our growth focus, cost and capital efficiency have lifted return on tangible equity (RoTE) to 16%, surpassing our group target of 10%. The Bank continued to build momentum by delivering strong income growth, maintaining discipline in managing its cost base ending with a notable increase in operating profit.”

The management indicated that the digital business agenda remains critical to transform the Consumer, Private and Business Banking growth and added that the transformation is gaining pace with digital adoption improving by 6% year on year to 76%. Operating expenses reduced by 8% reflecting operational efficiencies with cost-to-income ratio improving from 89% to 67% year on year. Expense efficiency is core to enabling the Bank to create positive operating leverage, whilst creating capacity to continue investing in strategic initiatives.”





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Gambling Authority expects bumper attendance at IAGR conference

26th September 2023

With just four weeks to go, the Gambling Authority of Botswana has revealed that it is expecting a record attendance at the much anticipated International Association of Gambling Regulators (IAGR) Conference, which will be held in Botswana from 16 – 19 October 2023.

According to a communique from the IAGR, the Gambling Authority will most probably break the record in the number of accredited countries that will attend the conference in Botswana.

“We are on track to match and potentially exceed the incredible delegate turnout we saw in Melbourne last year,” read a statement from IAGR’s.

In its global reach alert, IAGR revealed a glimpse of jurisdictions that will be represented at the conference, among them Australia, Canada, Denmark, Japan, Jersey, Mauritius, United Kingdom, United States and Netherlands. African countries that have so far confirmed attendance include Zimbabwe, South Africa, Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya and Burundi.

Commenting on the expected bumper attendance, IAGR said the amazing diversity elevates the conference to a whole new level, which will enrich discussions with a tapestry of regulatory perspectives and insights.

Botswana won the bid to host this year’s conference last year in Melbourne, Australia. The IAGR consists of representatives from gaming and gambling regulatory organizations from around the world; with a common mission to advance the effectiveness and efficiency of gaming regulation.

According to Gambling Authority Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Peter Kesitilwe, the Authority is a member of the IAGR by dictates of the Gambling Act; which compels it to align with international organizations whose objectives are to regulate gambling, and build collaboration among regulators.

“The IAGR conference is held annually and hosted by different member jurisdictions. It provides opportunities for gambling and gaming regulators from around the world to engage, learn and network with industry peers through events, workshops, research, information sharing, and the development of best practices,” explained Kesitilwe.

Funding requirements for the conference are shared between IAGR, the host country and conference participants. The government of Botswana has reaffirmed its commitment to supporting the Gambling Authority to host IAGR; as it is in line with its objectives of promoting the country as a Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) tourism destination.

According to Kesitilwe, the conference is coordinated by a Technical Committee of IAGR; together with a Local Organizing Committee (LOC) that comprises of representatives from the Ministries of Trade, Tourism, Foreign Affairs, Botswana Police Service and other stakeholders.

“We promise to deliver this hugely important event and showcase the best that Botswana has to offer. In addition to the exchange of ideas and culture capital, the Organizing Committee will also ensure maximum benefits for the tourism, hotel and hospitality industry, entertainment, transport, telecommunications, vendors, hawkers of cultural artifacts,” said Kesitilwe.

As part of preparations to host IAGR2023, the Gambling Authority recently went on a benchmarking mission to Great Britain.

“What we learnt there can assist the Gambling Authority as we enter a new era of growth and expansion. The meeting also provided a timely opportunity to catch up on preparations for IAGR2023. We are ready to host the conference and we look forward to meeting other regulators from across the world to share best practice, discuss common challenges and tackle illegal gambling,” concluded Kesitilwe.

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BDC on Diversity and Inclusion in the Corporate Sector and Workplace

26th September 2023

In recent years, diversity and inclusion have emerged as crucial aspects of the corporate sector. Recognising the importance of inclusivity, the Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) has taken significant steps to signal its commitment to the inclusion of all regardless of age, gender, background. By implementing a comprehensive Diversity and Inclusion policy, BDC aims to create an environment that fosters equality, attracts top talent, and promotes creativity and innovation.

BDC has demonstrated its commitment to inclusion by crafting and implementing a bespoke Diversity and Inclusion policy. This policy recognises and values the differences within its workforce, striving to create a culture of equality. By fostering an environment where all employees feel respected and supported, BDC aims to attract and retain top talent, which in turn contributes to the organisation’s overall success.

The Corporation has implemented policies and strategies that promote diversity and inclusivity in the workplace. The Diversity and Inclusion policy emphasises the value and respect for employees from diverse backgrounds, creating an inclusive environment where everyone can thrive. By having this policy in place, BDC ensures that all employees are treated fairly and have equal opportunities for growth and development within the organisation.

In the realm of inclusivity, leading firms and companies have emerged as trailblazers, championing diversity and equity by implementing progressive policies and initiatives. These organisations have made significant strides in demonstrating their commitment to inclusivity through actions that support individuals with disabilities and foster work-life balance for all employees.

Microsoft actively recruits individuals with disabilities and fosters an inclusive workplace through accommodations and a dedicated resource group. Netflix offers generous paternity leave, Unilever supports surrogate parenthood and gender-neutral caregiver benefits, while IBM provides comprehensive adoption support. Companies like Google, Apple, and Facebook establish employee resource groups to amplify underrepresented voices. Adobe prioritises inclusive workplace design, and Accenture and Deloitte focus on diverse leadership representation. These companies set a powerful example, demonstrating the value of diversity and fostering a more inclusive corporate landscape.

Rising to the challenge, BDC has also taken several measures to respond to the different needs of its work force. These measures include fostering open and respectful communication, encouraging the formation of employee resource groups or affinity networks, and promoting diverse perspectives and contributions. The Corporation has also shown its commitment to inclusivity by recruiting persons with disabilities, providing paternity leave benefits, and recognising and supporting surrogate parenthood, primary caregiver benefits regardless of gender, as well as the adoption of children. These efforts demonstrate BDC’s progressive approach to embracing diversity and supporting employees in all aspects of their lives.

By so doing, The Corporation exemplifies the essence of progressiveness, embracing inclusivity as a core value. By championing diverse talent, providing supportive benefits, and fostering inclusive cultures, BDC is part of a movement that is shaping a future where every individual is valued and empowered.

Inclusion and diversity are not only moral imperatives but also strategic investments for success. BDC’s commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion, sets an example for other organisations in Botswana and beyond. By implementing policies and strategies that create an inclusive environment, celebrating diversity, and supporting employees from all walks of life, BDC paves the way for a more equitable and inclusive corporate sector in Botswana. Embracing diversity is not only the right thing to do; it also drives innovation, boosts employee morale, and contributes to the overall success of organisations.


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Sales, Profit up as Choppies new strategy pays off

26th September 2023

Choppies Enterprises Limited, a supermarket chain led by Botswana businessman Ramachandran Ottapathu, reported an increase in profit after tax which is up 3.4%, hence improving from P145 million realized in 2022, to P150 million in 2023.

The results demonstrate sustained increases in consumer demand, improved operational flexibility, efficiency, cost-effectiveness and despite stiff competition, the Group managed reduce its debt levels by paying off P263 million debt from the previous fiscal year.

The chain supermarket realized growth in Group retail sales which went up 6.5% to BWP6 433 million compared to P6 042 recorded in 2022. The growth is attributed to a broad presence across Botswana and a growing footprint in three other African countries, being South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, according to a recently financial results statement.

In Pula terms, gross profit grew by 4.0% to BWP 1 359 million (2022: BWP 1 307 million) despite the challenging economic environment. Botswana and Namibia marginally grew gross profit rates while rates in Zambia and Zimbabwe declined.

During the period under review, the group’s Group net cash generated from operating activities rose by 4.5% to P484 million, this is a significant improvement when compared to P463 million recorded in 2022. This segment was boosted by strong showing from Botswana and Namibia, which performed exceptionally despite the challenging trading conditions. Furthermore, it was driven by sixteen new stores coupled with price growth of 6.8%.

As a result of the robust financial performance, the group’s total assets increased from P1 886 million to P2 177 million, while retained losses decreased from P811 million to P664 million.

Meanwhile, the Group faced a demanding economic environment characterised by stubbornly high inflation, higher interest rates and unemployment, all of which continue to constrain consumer spending and the consumer’s ability to digest higher prices. Sales volumes were lower in many categories, exacerbated by competitor discounting, with cost pressures only partly recovered through price increases.


According to the audited results, the gross profit margin accordingly reduced to 21.1% from last year’s 21.6% due to higher supply chain costs, including fuel and managing prices in response to higher cost inflation and competitor discounting.


Furthermore, while expenses increased 5.1% excluding the depreciation restatement, expenses grew 9.8% partly due to new stores and inflation. Foreign exchange losses on lease liabilities of P31 million (against a gain of P28 million last year) were partly offset by foreign exchange gains on Zimbabwean legacy debt receipts of P18 million (2022: BWP15 million).


Operating profit (EBIT) reduced by 1.8% from BWP 279 million to BWP 274 million whilst Adjusted EBIT, which excludes foreign exchange gains and losses on lease liabilities, movements in credit loss allowances, Zimbabwean legacy debt receipts and the reassessment of depreciation, reduced by 7.5% as costs grew faster than gross profit.




According to the Choppies Enterprises financial statement commentary, the Group continues to manage its cash resources and liquidity prudently with a reduction of P132 million in debt with P87 million paid out of internally generated funds and the balance of P45 million paid out of the proceeds of the rights issue.

In addition, capital expenditure increased to P185 million when compared to 2022 fiscal year which had recorded P122 million. This was a result of the Group strategy to invest in new stores and maintaining the distribution fleet.

Choppies Enterprises raised BWP50 million from leases to fund the fleet, an improvement because in 2022 only P36 million was raised.

Despite the growth in sales, inflation and new stores, Choppies Enterprises inventory reduced by P20 million helped by more stable global supply and the benefits of implementing an inventory optimisation system.

Finally, commentary from the Choppies Enterprises Group observes that as the economies in which the Group operates recover and the new stores reach full potential, an improvement in margins is expected. “With a value proposition that resonates with customers and with the cost of everyday items still stubbornly high in too many categories, more customers are choosing Choppies for the value and assortment we are known for. While we have strong and resilient brands, affordability is a growing constraint for consumers, limiting their ability to digest higher prices,” reads a commentary on the Group’s Financial statement.

Choppies Enterprises Limited (“the Company”) is a Botswana-based investment holding company operating in the retail sector in Southern Africa. Dual-listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange (“BSE”) and Johannesburg Stock Exchange (“JSE”), its are food and general merchandise retailing as well as financial service transactions supported by centralised distribution channels through distribution and logistical support centres. Each week, approximately 2.0 million customers visit 177 stores under five formats in four countries. With annual revenue of more than BWP6 billion, Choppies employs 10 000 people and is the largest grocery retailer in Southern Africa, outside of South Africa.



On 19 July 2023, Choppies acquired 76% (seventy-six percent) of the Kamoso Group for BWP2.00 (two Pula) and took cession of shareholders’ loans to the value of BWP22 million. The Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) will retain its 24% stake.

This acquisition will take Choppies to become a P8 billion business in revenue with 11 000 employees and 274 retail stores.




According to the financial results, Botswana experienced sales growth to BWP4 459 million an improvement from P4 209 million recorded in 2022. This was supported by volume growth from new stores and double-digit price inflation. Sales from Botswana increased by 5.9% and like-for-like sales growth was 2.2%, as the business continued to show strong resilience in an increasingly challenging economic environment. The Botswana economy continues to experience elevated inflation, high unemployment, and low economic growth.


EBITDA grew 5.8% and adjusted EBITDA was flat on last year. The performance for the second half was much stronger than in the first half as our strategies, leadership and inventory optimisation system have started to come to fruition.


As for the Rest of Africa being Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe sales increased by 7.7% to P 1 974 million, yet another improvement from 2022, which had realized P1 833 million sales. The increase was driven by the addition of nine new stores, inflationary increases in Zimbabwe and Zambia and volume growth in Namibia and Zambia. “However, this was offset by a very weak Zimbabwean Dollar resulting in Zimbabwe’s Pula sales declining by 48.3%.”


Meanwhile Namibia has successfully turned around with sales growth of 60.0% and like-for-like sales growth of 14.4%. Five new stores were opened during the year. EBITDA grew 140% with EBIT loss reducing from BWP9 million to BWP2 million. Adjusted EBIT, excluding the depreciation reassessment, reduced from BWP9 million to BWP6 million.


Connectedly, Zambia continues to grow with sales up 44.7% and like-for-like sales growth of 33.3%. Three new stores were opened during the year. While EBITDA declined by 26.4% due to the foreign exchange loss on the lease liability, adjusted EBITDA grew 27.1%. Adjusted EBIT declined marginally at 2.6%. Choppies Enterprises Directors are confident that Zambia will generate taxable profits in the foreseeable future.


Lastly in Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwean Dollar (ZWL) has significantly weakened especially in the last two months of the financial year. As a result of the above mentioned factors, Pula sales declined by 48.3%. EBIT and EBITDA declined by 151.6% and 125.5% respectively as cost inflation reduced margins. Adjusted EBIT and adjusted EBITDA declined 133.3% and 108.1% respectively.
















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