Standard Chartered Bank Botswana, the country’s oldest bank, is expecting lower interim results, but has promised shareholders it has a war chest to fund its future strategy.
The lender, which is among the top in the country has been experiencing a string of declining profits in recent years due to among others, lower banking rate, increased competition and closure of mines which the bank has been financially exposed to.
It seems the bank is yet to exit troubled waters while some of its peers such as Barclays Bank Botswana and Stanbic Bank Botswana are reporting improved profits. “Shareholders are advised that the company’s overall performance to be reported period ended 30th June 2017 is lower than those achieved in the corresponding period in prior year,” said a board statement.
For the half year period to June last year, the bank profits tumbled to P62, 9 million from P66, 2 million in the same period the year before. ‘Standard Chartered Bank Botswana Limited continues to have a strong balance sheet with sufficient liquidity and capital to deliver on its strategy’
Standard Chartered has not disclosed to the market what has led to profits fall after telling the media early this year that performance will improve going forward. Meantime, shareholders have been warned to exercise caution when dealing with the bank’s securities.
Despite the challenges at the bank, the board and management are upbeat, at least for the rest of the year. Writing in the bank’s annual report, Board of Directors Chairman, Professor Bojosi Otlhogile said. “A rebound in economic growth is expected in 2017 led by improvement in the mining sector. The business is well positioned to take advantage of the forecast growth given the strong fundamentals in place’ Bojosi, a law lecturer at the University of Botswana added that the lender’s balance sheet is fit for growth, and the control environment has improved. “The teams are focused on sustainable and well controlled growth that will generate good returns for our shareholders for the next coming years.
“We remain confident of our ability to realise long term sustainable gains and build a strong franchise,” he stated. The BSE listed commercial bank is without a Substantive Chief Executive following the unexpected resignation of Moatlhodi Lekaukau in February after five years at the helm. Chief Financial Officer, Mpho Masupe is acting.
At the close of trading on Wednesday, Standard Chartered was trading at 560 thebe.