Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) horticulture graduates expressed their determination to increase vegetable production capacity locally and reduce dependence on South African farmers.

The 42 horticulture entrepreneurs graduated from LEA Glen Valley Horticulture Incubation project on Tuesday and 10 outstanding winners were granted prizes ranging from P5 000 to P20 000 by Stanbic Bank Botswana.In his remarks, one of the graduates, Jacob Thebenala said through the training at the incubation centre they have acquired skills to produce enough food to feed the nation if they work hard.

“We have been really incubated and the ball is now in our courts. Given all these skills and courage we can make a change in the economy and be the producers of food locally and reduce dependence on imports,” said Thebenala.
He said as Small Micro and Medium Enterprises they should look for partnerships in order to grow and increase productivity. “Having been exposed to different technologies like greenhouses and drip irrigation that improve output of the horticulture commodities, we are equipped to make a significant difference in the horticulture sector. We can make a difference through collaborations,”

Currently the country imports about 48 percent of vegetables from South Africa as the local production can not meet the market demand.Dimakatso Lekgotla who received P20 000 cash from Stanbic bank said she is going to produce tomatoes, green peppers and onions as a start-up in her 25 hacter farm in Francistown.

“I have gained   a lot of modern techniques and skills so I am ready to start farming once I get start-up capital. But in the meantime I am going to start with the little I have,” said Lekgotla.
Meanwhile, LEA Chief Executive Officer, Racious Moatshe said their objective is to create a pool of successful, sustainable and competitive SMMEs that will be instrumental in advancing government’s high level goals of employment creation, import substitution, poverty reduction and economic diversification.

“These 42 graduates have been exposed to various production methods under green houses, tunnels and net shades in addition to being equipped with business management skills that will enable them to function on their own, post the incubation,” said Moatshe. LEA incubation has to date produced over 150 graduates who are currently engaged in production countrywide.Moatshe said they are currently looking for private partnerships to develop the 25 hectare commercial farm at their Glen Valley Horticulture Incubation.

Stanbic Bank Botswana Acting Chief Executive, Samuel Minta said Stanbic Bank Botswana is determined to move Botswana forward by supporting SMEs in becoming active economic agents, leading to job creation and essentially adding to the growth of economy.

“We understand our responsibility goes beyond banking, hence our investment in the growth of the Agriculture sector, which is pivotal in diversifying the economy. We are proud to have a fruitful partnership with LEA and we look forward to continuing to make progress real in the horticulture sector,” he said.

Published in Business

Stanbic Bank Botswana, one of the top four banks in the country is banking on personal markets as well as business banking divisions to drive its growth for the current year, acting Chief Executive Sam Minta has disclosed.


He was sharing information with Botswana Guardian at a media gathering after the bank was chosen as the best bank in Botswana by Global Finance Magazine recently.
The move by the bank to target retail banking for its growth could be a surprise to many as most of the bank’s growth has been coming from investment and corporate banking since they set foot in the country more than 25 years ago. 

Minta, who is the substantive Chief Finance Officer, is mindful of the fact that consumers’ disposal incomes have taken a nosedive as a result of consecutive salary adjustments, which were less than inflation in most instances. Equally, the recent rise of petrol prices, electricity as well as inflation will surely put consumers under pressure, basically limiting their ability to get additional credit commitments and related services. Minta, who is seen as potential the candidate to replace Leina Gabaraane as Chief Executive, told the press that they will also increase their digital banking platforms which are a hit with both retail and business banking clients. 

The bank’s digital platforms, which have seen the bank partnering with some service providers in the country, will also mean more customers will make less frequent visits to branches as they can now conduct their banking online. Personal and business banking contributed P37 million to the company’s P205 million profits after tax in the year ended December 2017.
The division was moving from a P6 million loss the year before.

“This is (was) a culmination of a strong PBB leadership, strategic investments into people, channels and systems,” said the bank in a statement announcing its 2017 results.
The bank, which is a unit of Standard Bank, Africa’s largest bank by assets, is planning to grow its business banking unit, which will see them supporting small, medium and large enterprises which in the end can create the much needed jobs in Botswana.
Stanbic has been increasing its network of Automated Teller Machines to deal with consumer traffic, stated Head of Marketing, Stephane Stoneham.

Some of its ATMs have also been replaced with ‘modern ones,’ added Stoneham who joined the bank from rival Barclays Bank Botswana some few years ago.
Meanwhile, the bank's head of human capital, Chedza Balopi heaped praises on the bank’s staff adding that they have enabled them to get the bank of the year award from Global Finance Magazine. 
She adds that the bank is fortunate to be part of Standard Bank group as this enables them to have fit for purposes employees.

The bank snatched the award in Botswana, as it has been consistent in offering expertise and relationships to assist clients, and negotiate complex financial and regulatory cross-border environments.
 “This is done through the bank’s digital journey, customer-centricity and efforts towards providing a universal bank experience,” said Global Finance Magazine in a statement.
“As Stanbic Bank Botswana, we aim to remain consistent in providing universal banking solutions that help move our people forward. Botswana is our home and we will continue to invest in driving the growth of our communities and clients,” said Minta.

Published in Business
Tuesday, 05 September 2017 16:59

StanChart H1 profits tumble

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. 

Published in Business

Working together to build Botswana’s creative industry is the sentiment championed by Masa Square Hotel, as it continues its Masa Fashion Show 2017 campaign. 

Under the theme “Driving Brand Authenticity While Expanding Market Growth,” the premier business and leisure hotel hosted its second MSH Fashion Show & Mentorship Talkshop on July 27th, 2017. The workshop is part of a series under the Hotel’s Fashion Mentorship Programme bringing together local entrepreneurs, innovators and creatives to share industry insights that encourage local business and entrepreneurship. 

A formidable lineup of stakeholders from the financial services, apparel, creative communications and telecommunications industries presented. Guest speakers included Dr. Tefo Bubi, CEO Leading Edge Markets, Calistas Chijoro, Head - Business Banking, Stanbic Bank Botswana, Mosarwa Molema, Sponsorship Coordinator at Orange Botswana and renowned technopreneur and personality, Moses Maruping from Wind Rush PR. 

In addition, Face of Masa Fashion Show, Oratile Kefitlhile, chaired the morning’s proceedings. Said MSH General Manager, Greg Soutter,“Authenticity is a major aspect of brand positioning in every business, whether one leads a public or private sector operation. This is because in successful business, professionals have to offer a unique proposition above their competition, while making sure to maintain quality as the business grows. Such a discussion is one that every professional can relate to and learn about across the local industry divide. Today certainly proved enlightening and we are grateful to our stakeholders for their continued support of this initiative.”

Half way through the year, the Hotel is rallying full speed ahead with the MSH Fashion Show & Mentorship Workshop Series, introduced to engage leaders from various industries including finance, media, manufacturing and more. 

The aim of the series is to equip mentees of the MSH Fashion Mentorship Programme with practical insights on business management and entrepreneurship from figures who are directly and indirectly stakeholders of the creative industry. More workshops are slated for the coming quarter and will culminate in the Masa Fashion Show on October 21st, 2017.

Concluded Soutter, “When we revised our strategy to position the Masa Fashion Show as our highlight event on our calendar, we desired to also leverage our relationships and experience in this industry in a manner that exposes local talent. Our talk shop series is about bringing together professionals from a variety of local business sectors to discuss key issues and opportunities that exist in the Botswana economy and we look forward to the enriching discussions to come leading up to the Masa Fashion Show this October.”

Published in Style

The financial services sector can play a major role in reviving Botswana’s economy currently suffering from the devastating effects of the low global commodity prices.

Towards the end of 2015, the world economy experienced subdued commodities markets that rendered countries such as Botswana which rely on commodities, vulnerable to international market fluctuations.

Stanbic Bank Botswana chief executive officer (CEO), Leina Gabaraane, said although the Botswana economy has its own challenges they are not insurmountable. Gabaraane said each and every economy around the world faces some challenges at a particular time. 

“As you all know, economies go through circles and this is the phase that the Botswana economy is growing through and financial institutions need to play a role and help the economy get out this slow period and ensure that we get back to the double digit GDP growth that we are used to. As banks, we should support that growth,” Gabaraane told the Botswana Guardian at bank’s headquarters in Gaborone.

Owing to challenges in the mining sector, there has been a decline in the diamond sales in 2016 that led to the cutting of production in some local companies. This has also led to the closure of mining companies and while mining giants, BCL and Tati Nickel Mine companies, were put under provisional liquidation due to viability challenges.   

“Without a well functioning financial services sector, we will not see any development in any economy,” Gabaraane said. The unlisted Stanbic bank has been operating in Botswana for the past 25 years and Gabaraane says they were impressed with the role they are playing in the country’s financial service sector.

“We have been playing a significant role in the financial services sector specifically in banking sector. We also have an Asset Management Business and Life Insurance Business that is part of the Standard Bank Group, and this is helping in deepening the financial service sector,” he said. 

Gabaraane stated that Stanbic Bank was not operating in Botswana just to extract but to add value and drive Botswana’s economy. 

He added that they focus on sectors that they believe have a significant impact on driving the GDP forward like the tourism sector.

“We are supporting the tourism sectors and we believe that it can diversify the economy away from the diamond sector,” said the Stanbic Bank official. He said they also support diamond beneficiation in Botswana as well as other sectors such as the energy sector.

Gabaraane concluded that they are impressed with the bank’s performance in Botswana and are confident of its future prospects.

Published in News
Wednesday, 19 July 2017 13:46

‘Stanbic in no rush to list’

Stanbic Bank Botswana has no immediate plans to list on the Botswana Stock Exchange, bank Chief Executive, Leina Gabaraane, has revealed.

Gabaraane told this publication that they don’t have an appetite to list on the local bourse as the current situation does not attract them to do so.

“As we stand now there is no immediate plan to list. There are many factors that we need to consider before listing and none of them has met our requirements. One of them is to raise capital and we don’t need to raise capital,” said Gabaraane. 

He said the bank was performing well on the local financial service market and will continue to do so without listing. “We believe that our contribution to the financial services sector in Botswana continues to be in existence and will continue and we don’t need to do it through listing,” he explained. He said listing on the stock exchange is important and this is why their bonds are listed on the BSE. 

Listing on the stock exchange is said to be the best platform for citizens to participate in the businesses operating in the country through buying shares. There has been calls by some analysts for the bank to float its shares on the BSE, with emphasis placed on its market share. Even the central bank has also made similar calls. 

“Unlike its peers, Stanbic is not listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange. The non-existence of the bank on the domestic bourse could be misinterpreted to mean lack of long-term commitment and willingness to have the Botswana public participate in the ownership of the bank,” said Bank of Botswana Governor, Moses Pelaelo.

 He was speaking at the bank event to market its 25 years of existence in Botswana some few months ago. Ben Kruger, the co-Chief Executive of parent company, Standard Bank has told Botswana Guardian before that the time is not ripe for the bank to go public. 

Stanbic bank is a member of the Standard Bank Group, the largest bank in Africa by assets. The bank is one of the largest and best performing commercial banks in Botswana. In its annual report for 2016, the financial institution recorded a profit after tax of up to 48 percent at P195 million. 

The CEO said despite the closure of businesses, threats of closure and the challenges in the agriculture sector in the country, the bank still performed well. They recorded above budget profit and double digit year-on-year growth.

Stanbic Bank provides the full spectrum of financial services and operates within the two divisions namely the Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) and Personal and Business Banking (PBB).

In Botswana, the bank employs over 600 workers and has a national footprint of 10 branches. Last year the bank successfully launched a new three year ‘Road To Excellence’ strategy aimed at enabling and positioning the bank as the market leader.

Published in Business
Wednesday, 19 July 2017 13:30

Stanbic embedded in corporate banking space

Stanbic Bank Botswana continues to strengthen its position as the leading bank in the corporate and investment banking space in Botswana, with the capability and capacity to drive great influence and impact in the segment.

Standard Bank Group Regional Head of Corporation and Investment Banking, Chris Clarkson told this publication this week that the Group has pioneered a number of projects in Botswana that continue to earn it great acclaim. He said for any business to succeed, it is critical to have a sound strategy that is flexible, effective and promotes progress. “Stanbic Bank Botswana continues to drive strong performance in line with the Group’s strategy and has continued to yield growth with each financial year. In addition, Stanbic Bank Botswana is one of the leading performers across the regional footprint, with a remarkably well performing Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) division,” said Clarkson.

Stanbic Bank Botswana prides itself with the remarkable capabilities and achievements in the CIB space. According to Clarkson, the CIB division of the business has proven experience in the sectors such as Non-Banking Financial Institutions, oil and gas, fast moving consumer goods, mining and metals, telecoms and media, power and infrastructure, power and real estate.

Head of CIB in Botswana, Shepherd Aisam also said key to making these capabilities even more powerful and effective for stakeholders, the bank shared, is collaboration and engagement. “We continue to position ourselves as leading operation in the market by placing an emphasis driving value for customers, the group and communities we operate in. 

“An important aspect here is working with our valued partners, collaborating as a means towards making progress real, engaging and communication with our key stakeholders along that journey,” said Asiam.Stanbic bank is a member of the Standard Bank Group, the largest bank in Africa by assets. The bank is one of the largest commercial banks in Botswana and is committed to ensuring a progressive and meaningful banking experience for each and every one of the Bank’s clients and stakeholders.Stanbic Bank provides the full spectrum of financial services and operates within the two divisions namely the Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) and Personal and Business Banking (PBB). In Botswana, the bank employs over 600 workers and has a national footprint of 10 branches.

Published in Business
Tuesday, 02 May 2017 14:49

Govt. drags feet on PPP implementation

Policy framework is still not implemented because the Attorney General Chambers is still proposing the amendment of the PPAD Act- PPP Coordinator, Orono Otweyo
The private sector has urged government to increase its pace on implementing the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model since the policy was adopted in 2009.
Commenting in a panel discussion during the Stanbic Bank Botswana PPP conference on Wednesday, Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) representative said the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MFED) should improve their pace on its processes.

“The policy has been adopted in 2009 and it is still not implemented because we are still waiting for the amendment. We want to support the government and we have the money to invest but we end up taking our money offshore because we need correct legislation,” he said.

Bona Life chief executive officer, Regina Vaka said the private sector is ready and eager to invest in government infrastructure but they are just waiting for the action plan. “Government should improve its pace. By now we should be hearing about the action plan on this PPP project since it has been adopted in 2009”.

Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, PPP Coordinator, Orono Otweyo said the policy framework is still not implemented because the Attorney General Chambers is still proposing the amendment of the PPAD Act. “Currently the proposal is at the Attorney General Chambers so we don’t know when it is going to be approved,” he said.
Otweyo said the government’s responsibility is broader because it must protect the public assets so it takes time to implement some projects. He said PPP is a complex project so the government ensures that right procedures are put in place before implementation of public projects. 

“We appreciate that private sector is ready to partner with us but the government responsibility is broader. We have to make sure that correct measures are in place before starting any project. This is to protect the public assets,” said Otweyo.

He explained that the role of the MFED is to support government in delivering the PPP but they need the private sector to come on board. “We are already moving as the government, it might not be faster as expected. We need to work together with the private sector as a team,” said Otweyo.

Standard Bank’s Energy and Infrastructure Affairs Executive Vice President, Aadii Cajee said the success of the PPP project requires political commitment. “It is important for the ministry to have political commitment to drive the PPP project. In Kenya it became successful because the President was pushing it,” he said.

 He said the size of the market and the costs incurred under feasibility studies also determine the success of the project. Currently MFED is in consultation with other ministries to identify potential PPP projects. The ministry has indicated that most infrastructure projects contained in the 11th NDP are potential PPP projects.

A pilot project, being the Office Accommodation for the Ombudsman and Land Tribunal, were implemented before the adoption of PPP Policy. The P55 million project was constructed for 16 months and handed over in July 2008 under a 10-year concession, which ends in July 2018.

Published in News

Stanbic Bank Botswana recorded a strong P195 million profit after tax for the year ended 31 December 2016, despite challenges in the economy characterised by a muted economic growth and challenges in the mining and agriculture sector. According to the financial results for the year ended 31 December 2016, signed by Chief Executive Leina Gabaraane and Chairman Craig Graville, the unlisted bank made P195 million as profit representing an annual growth of 48 percent.

This puts the bank, which is a subsidiary of Standard Bank, well within the top four banks in terms of profitability in Botswana. The 25 year old bank says loan book growth remained muted for most of the year until the last quarter mainly due to the low credit appetite from clients.During the period under review, the bank made appropriate investments to secure the long-term sustainability of the bank.

“A number of these investments were made to embed the employee value proposition. The most important form of the investments was directed at building personal effectiveness and leadership of all supervisors and managers across the Bank,” read part of the statement.
During the year, the bank remained strongly committed to funding and supporting commercial business opportunities as well as personal wealth creation.The bank says the 11 percent growth in the loan book reflects the success of this drive, albeit within a very challenging macro-economic environment.

The economic realities also required some measure of counter-balance with the need to keep credit risk pressure at acceptable levels. “The three percent decline in customer deposits was a deliberate cash flow management outcome to optimise the balance sheet and also control costs of funds. It was also the outcome of re-balancing the concentration on institutional funding with retail deposits,” said the bank in a statement. This resulted in retail deposits growing by six percent to fund the percentage decline in Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) deposits.For the first time in three years, dividends of P150 million were declared and paid in June.

Notwithstanding the current market challenges, Stanbic Bank says there is growing confidence across the Bank in its ability to deliver strong results against expected macroeconomic challenges.It says the confidence levels stem from investment in staff, technology and improved processes to deliver superior client experience.

Published in Business
Monday, 05 December 2016 13:00

Stanbic Bank pump P3, 6 million into Popa

Stanbic Bank Botswana this week injected P3 600 000 into BTC premiership giants Township Rollers FC. The seven-figure deal is expected to cover three-seasons starting from 2016 until 2019.

The sponsorship was officially unveiled at Stanbic Bank Piazza in Gaborone on Tuesday. Announcing the partnership between the commercial bank and premier league reigning champions, Stanbic Bank Head of Customer Channels, Calistas Chijoro said the Bank is further reinforcing its commitment to sports development through the sponsorship.

Chijoro explained that efforts made by Stanbic are aimed at cultivating a culture of partnership and collaboration, adding that for a business organisation to bloosm, it needs to develop strong relationships. Addressing football stakeholders at the glitzy sponsorship launch ceremony Chijoro said they were particularly delighted to be shaking hands with one of the most successful football clubs in the country. “We seek to establish mutually-beneficial relationships with such entities, as we continue to empower and nurture sustainable development,” Chijoro said.

Chijoro described Township Rollers as the best football club in the country, for it has won 13 Botswana Premier League titles, five Kabelano Charity Cups and one Mascom Top 8 title. It has also participated in continental cup competitions. Chijoro said that Mapalastina have over 180 000 registered supporters and a large pool of followers on social media. “This is one of the best supported teams the country has and probably the only one.”

Mapalastina were given a word of caution by the Bank official to always stick together through thick and thin in order to stay relevant “The sky is the limit, there is still a lot to achieve out there, take your achievements to a whole new level, do not be comfortable in your current state, continue dreaming.”Chijoro pleaded with the team to utilise the funds wisely. “You are in a privileged position, plant a seed now, bearing in mind that in the future you will be harvesting from the same tree.” For his part, Rollers Chairman Jagdish Shah said Mapalastina are more than happy to open doors for Stanbic Bank, adding that their hopes are to see the partnership grow in years to come.

“I welcome this gesture with open hands, I believe it will also motivate other companies to support local football in the country, I believe Botswana Football Association (BFA) and BPL will be proud too.” Roller also enjoy fruitful partnerships with Builders Mart, JB Sports, Cresta Lodge, Liberty, Shield, Umbro and Jack’s Gym.

Published in Sports
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