State-owned National Development Bank (NDB) has announced in its latest annual report that it is getting ready for commercialisation and privatisation processes expected to be concluded in less than two years.
The development bank awaits parliament’s approval of NDB transition bill that is expected to pave way for commercialisation and the subsequent privatisation. The bill is expected in the July sitting of parliament, BG Business has learnt. Ahead of the commercialisation, the bank is doing necessary groundwork. “The bank’s migration into broader sectors of the economy and fields of the banking operation are precipitated mainly by the privatisation of National Development Bank,” said Chairperson of the bank’s board of directors Lesedi Seitei.
NDB privatisation, which was first mooted some years ago, has faced hurdles mainly related to passing of necessary legislations. Seitei explained that ahead of privatisation, they have come up with strategies and services which will ensure they trade profitably once they turn into a commercial entity. Part of the strategies adopted by the bank is restructuring which will result with new job profiling and shedding of redundant posts. The process also involved revision of condition of service for staff members. “Steps have been taken, with assistance of technical experts to ensure the re-alignment exercise is as adherent as possible to the highest standards of best practice,” said Chief Executive Lorato Morapedi.
The bank’s union has differed with NDB on the best way to deal with re-organisation of the institution. Some staff members have already lost jobs to restructuring. The adoption of Thobo 2014 corporate strategy is also expected to transform the bank when it ends next year. “Through the strategy, the bank will be pursuing the high level targets of business growth marked by significant growth in the net loan book value and number of customers,” said the 2012 annual report. NDB, which is 100 percent owned by government offer loans to property, education, manufacturing and retail clients. For the year ending March 2012, the bank posted a comprehensive income of P40, 4 million, down 17 percent from the previous corresponding period.
Morapedi attributed this to increased expenditure on new projects under their strategy. Loans and advances bolstered the company’s assets by 8 percent to P1, 1 billion. NBD, is also partly affected by lending rate, which was slashed by 0,5 percent. The bank has also followed suit and cut rate accordingly to services linked to interest rate. The sole shareholder of the bank-government-has received P10 million as dividend for the year under review. Meanwhile, Seitei has announced that the bank will be privatised by way of listing at Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE). Government will retain 51 percent, 49 percent will be listed, with 30 percent of the amount reserved for locals.14 percent will be reserved for both citizens and non-citizens. 5 percent will be for current employees through a share option scheme.