Choppies Enterprise Limited has announced that Vice Chairman and Executive Director, Farouk Ismail, has shifted his role to that of Non-Executive Director. However, he will keep his Vice Chairman role, deputising Chairman former President Festus Mogae. According to Choppies website, Farouk is the founder of the Ismail Group of Companies, the group now known as Choppies Enterprises.
He opened the first store in Wayside, Lobatse in 1986 and has witnessed the exponential growth of the group since. “Given his presence in the Choppies Group since its inception, he has a strong understanding of the target market of Choppies and how to address market requirements,” said the website of the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) and Johannesburg Stock Exchange listed grocery group.
Ismail steps down from the day to day operations at a time when the group is struggling to grow its bottom line. In Botswana, the company is facing tough competition from old and new players as well as weak economic growth, while in SA its revenues will be affected by that country’s ‘junk’ sovereign credit rating status
Far Property which launched in the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) this Wednesday is expected to boost the market capitalisation in the local bourse.
BSE Chief Executive Officer, Thapelo Tsheole said yesterday at the launch that Far listing brings some level of diversity into the market by increasing the number of property companies listed in the BSE. “It also brings diversity within the sector by being the 6th property company and operating within the space it is operating in. It’s a good development mainly by the two shareholders, Farouk Ismali and Ramachandran Ottapathu by developing the market and this country- this gives citizens to enjoy the wealth being generated by the brains of these two gentlemen, it’s a real economic empowerment,” shared Tsheole.
The youthful CEO said this is a very exciting time for the BSE, “as it brings the market capitalisation to more than P5.4billion because the property sector was 11 percent of the domestic market capitalisation of the P49billion, now it will be over that. We’re looking forward to increasing the turnover which I think in April was very low but on year-to-date basis we have traded close to P816million slightly less than a billion. Our aim is to surpass the P3billion reached last year and with coming into the market of companies such as Far Properties, we’re looking to increasing the present daily turnover of P9.8million as of end of April.”
The number of listed companies in the domestic board will increase from 23 to 24 and this is the second listing in a year following that of BTCL beginning April. “It might seem as a small number but majority of stock exchanges in Africa have zero/nothing. We are excited because we seem to be taking at least more than one. This will bring into addition the total number of listed in the BSE to 34, 24 domestic and 10 foreign companies, 38 bonds, four exchange traded funds,” he added.
He said that Far’s listing was testimony that listing is not a bad thing, because if it were, Ram and Farouk would not be coming for the second time in the BSE. In fact listing is a good thing to do because companies listed in the BSE are the cream of the Botswana market those listed in the stock exchanges in the world are some of the best in the world. “Welcome to the crème de la crème of Botswana’s corporate companies.”
For his part, one of the Directors and a major shareholder, Ottapathu said “It was not a humble beginning. It was all scattered companies in 2010 and we consolidated them into a group company. From there the growth was fast, we could go to the valuation level of a billion plus in five years. The board members then gave it the green light to go on the stock exchange.”
Ram shared in passing that, “there is more listing to come before I retire. Watch the space.” However, the Choppies group CEO indicated to BG Business that there are no plans yet for the newly listed entity to list in the international stock exchanges.