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Barclays brings market day home



Barclays brings market day home

Barclays Bank held their second Retail Market Day over the weekend at their Barclays Piazza in the Central Business District (CBD).

The exhibition is one of the ways Barclays Bank – which is currently undergoing rebranding to Absa – intends to show commitment to the growth of Botswana’s economy.

The initiative was also designed to give retailers a platform to display their products, whilst at the same time engaging with their customers.

Explaining why they decided to hold the event at their head office as opposed to BA Isago University’s campus where it was conducted last year, the Chief Risk Officer, Kabelo Molomo said, “We wanted to prove to our clients that we support them and so are not ashamed to do it here.”

According to Molomo, the companies that were selected to exhibit are ones they have a relationship with. This included enterprises such as: Sefalana, Fours Cash and Carry, Bokomo, PST and Trans Africa.

The latter recently held their first Small and Micro Enterprises (SMME) Expo to expose them to Trans Africa clientele. The Best Stall Prize winner then, Dobi Foods won the opportunity to set-up stall among the retail giants.

Speaking to Voice Money, the company’s Sales and Marketing Officer, Tinao Sithelo expressed his pride at how far they have come as a traditional food retailer.

“Being in the midst of such big companies shows that we are growing as Dobi Foods. Batswana support us and we hope they keep up the support. The goal is to grow towards large scale.”

Though there were no prizes attached to the categories, PST was awarded the Best Creative while Best Innovation went to Trans Africa. Bokomo walked away with the Best Display tag.

As the day unfolded, Molomo took the opportunity to outline the new services they have in store for the upcoming festive season.

“We have a Current Liabilities Campaign that’s ongoing and there is an Audi A3 to be won. Entries will be closing on the 18th and the draw will be on the 21st of December. You may have a great Christmas driving an A3!

“As you may be aware we are changing our brand, so far you may have seen a number branches and ATM’s changing around the country. We have already made changeovers in our Broadhurst, Kanye and Lobatse Branches. Be on the lookout as we paint the country red!” he exclaimed.

The bank intends to hold the Retail Market Day annually.


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FNBB announces loan repayment holiday for customers



In response to damage caused by the Covid-19 virus, First National Bank Botswana (FNBB) has announced a cashflow relief for its eligible customers with a good track record of honouring heir repayments.

The relief, the bank said, is available to both retail and commercial customers for a period of three months, from April to June.

In retail, the relief applies to home loans, personal loans and WesBank loans while for the SME customers the relief applies to commercial property finance, vehicle and asset finance and term loans.

SME businesses with an annual turnover up to P10 million and an initial loan amount not exceeding P5 million will benefit from this relief program.

In addition to loan repayment holidays, the bank has in some instances introduced zero rate on some payments on digital banking channels and some of the payments that will be done for free until end of April are payments made on Mobile banking app; payments made on mobile banking; and cash withdrawal made through Cash@Till.

For the months of may and June, the bank says FNBB App payments, mobile payments and cash@Till will be offered at a 25 percent discount on the current fee and the bank hopes these measures will help ease customers’ financial constraints until things stabilise.

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ABSA in the money



Bank registers 15 percent profit increase

Two months after its official name change, Absa Bank Botswana has announced a 15 percent jump in profits.

This week, the bank’s Managing Director, Keabetswe Pheko-Moshagane revealed that despite the challenges faced by the industry, Absa registered profit after tax of P678 million for the 12-month period ending 31 December 2019.

Highlighting the bank’s success, Finance Director, Mumba Kalifungwa explained it continued on a forward momentum of driving interest income growth through prudent lending across all segments.

“On a gross basis, interest income was up by 10 percent year-on-year (YoY). However, market liquidity in the year was thin and this resulted in increased costs of funds,” he said, adding overall net interest income increased by six percent.

Furthermore, according to Kalifungwa, Absa’s net trading remained flat despite an increase in trading volumes.

“This was due to the tough trading conditions and the global geo political challenges experienced in the year. To this end, in 2019 our net fee and commission income as a portion of total income represented 35 percent of total revenue which resonates with our strategy to diversify our revenue mix,” he said.

When it comes to credit losses or impairments, the bank’s expected year-on-year credit losses decreased by 64 percent in comparison to the prior period.

Kalifungwa attributed this to the Absa’s enhanced collections capability, conservative credit extension to high risk sectors especially in the Retail segment as well as significant recovery from one of their clients.

HAPPY BANKER: Kalifungwa

The Finance Director added that as they continue to pursue growth the overall balance sheet grew by 11 percent, ending the year at a whopping P18 billion.

“For the year under review, our customer loans and advances grew by 13 percent compared to market growth of 7.7 percent. This was achieved by growth in all our segments in line with our growth strategy,” he explained, noting the main driver behind the balance sheet’s growth continues to be loans and advances and customer liabilities which remain key drivers of the bank’s total revenue.

During the period, Absa’s loans and advances to customers increased by 13 percent YoY to P13billion.

“The growth was fairly distributed across the segments in line with our strategy and continues to be focused around prudent lending in our chosen business segments,” Kalifungwa concluded.

Meanwhile, the bank has set aside a total of P231 million as dividends for the year, with shareholders set to receive 25 Thebe per share.

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