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Data sharing critical for banks and lenders

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Data sharing critical for banks and lenders

TransUnion Director Africa Business Development, Adrian Pillay says improving compliance and data sharing can help banks and lenders in Botswana lower their lending risks and reduce non-performing loans.

Pillay was speaking at a workshop last week to discuss the need for better data quality and risk based solutions across the financial services sector.

The initiative was aimed at helping local banks and lenders protect their profitability while promoting responsible lending.

Pillay stressed that as a risk and information solution provider, TransUnion Africa is keen to engage with the banks to discuss the challenges and status of data sharing in the market and how it can bring added value to the banking community.

He explained that data sharing helps uncover whether customers are good or bad payers of their loans.

“Credit bureaus on a monthly basis collect information on behalf of banks so effectively that if someone has a personal loan with a certain bank or home loan with another any lender can view the type of borrower you are. A bank can get a credit report from credit bureau which show the customers’ outstanding balance and a lender can decide whether to approve a loan or not. There are three credit bureaus at the moment operating in Botswana with micro lenders, banking retail customers’ data information,” highlighted Pillay.

For his part, TransUnion Botswana Country Manager, Kabelo Ramaselwana said it is critical for banks and lenders to understand their customers when it come to making the right decisions and ensuring their profitability.

He revealed average annual cash earnings in Botswana have increased by 5.1 percent over the decade to 2017 compared to an inflation average of six percent. He noted this makes it important to lenders to make the right lending decisions.

“As at December 2018, there were 277,762 household borrowers in Botswana with a total of P33.1 billion of loans extended by commercial banks. Unsecured personal loans now make up 67 percent of all household borrowings with 27 percent being mortgages and six percent motor vehicle loans. This reflects a significant shift in the composition of household debt over the past two decades. In 2000 unsecured personal loan made up only 45 percent of household borrowings,” said Ramaselwana.

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CEDA/DBSA University Challenge winner to be named this week

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The third edition of the CEDA/DBSA University challenge is expected to come to the end this week with the ultimate crowning of the winner.

The CEDA/DBSA University Challenge is a collaboration between the Citizen Entrepreneurial Agency (CEDA) and the Development bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) which challenges university students to come up with realistic solutions to issues affecting the country.

Last Friday, those who made it to the top 10 presented their ideas to a panel of judges and the winner is set to be announced tomorrow Thursday in Gaborone.

Speaking during the presentations on Friday, CEDA Chief Executive Officer, Thabo Thamane said the Challenge has grown in popularity as this time around they saw an increase in the number of applicants.

The winner is expected to walk away with P300, 000 after the prize money was increased from P200, 000 and the figure will increase by a further P50, 000 should the winner emerge as a woman.

The University Challenge concept was conceived in 2017 during the World Federation of Development Finance institutions joint CEO’s Forum which was held in Gaborone.

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Sub-Saharan Gloom

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Moody’s predict bad outlook for region

Credit Ratings and Research Agency, Moody’s has predicted tough times ahead for the Sub-Saharan region in terms of sovereign credit worthiness*.

A report published this week by the American-based Investors Service states that its 2020 outlook for sovereign credit worthiness remains negative.

Moody’s attributes this to the limited progress made in reducing risk related to increased debt burdens (a large amount of money that a country owes to another which they are struggling to repay)and debt servicing.

“While growth will remain solid, it will not meaningfully buttress income nor increase economic resilience,” predicts the respected institution, further adding that the external environment is becoming increasingly unpredictable, which aggregates existing challenges.

The rating agency warns even with the region not highly integrated into the global economy through direct trade linkages, it remains exposed through its sensitivity to changes in commodity prices and financial conditions.

“The limited capacity of most governments to respond to even modest negative external shocks exacerbates the region’s sensitivity to the more negative global environment,” it states.

Moody’s Investors service has identified three key areas which underpin its negative outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

These are: worsening external environment, weak government finances and subdued GDP growth.

It is reported weak government finances will continue to pose a constraint, with the rise in debt and interest burdens since 2015 having weakened the fiscal profiles of most Sub-Saharan region sovereigns.

“We expect modest fiscal consolidation for the region, with the median fiscal deficit improving to 3 percent of GDP in 2020 compared with 3.3 percent in 2019,” continues the report, further adding that while this will allow debt burdens to stabilize, fiscal profiles will remain weak overall and leave SSA sovereigns with limited capacity to employ counter fiscal policies.

The region’s debt burden is expected to decline to 51 percent of GDP this year from 54.5 seen in 2019. However, it remains significantly higher than the 40.4 percent recorded five years ago.

While there are some intra-regional differences, including Botswana, whose debt burden remains low, the general trend, according to Moody’s, implies that Sub Saharan African countries have less fiscal spaces to absorb future shocks.

Regarding GDP growth, the international rating agency predicts GDP will remain steady, but will not meaningfully buttress per capita incomes or support fiscal consolidation.

“We expect economic growth to accelerate modestly, with regional real GDP growth rising to 3.5 percent in 2020, compared with 3.1 percent in 2019,” says Moody’s.

It further outlines that the regional average is weighed down by sluggish growth in the region’s largest economies, Nigeria and South Africa, while growth in the rest of SSA will accelerate to 5.3 percent, albeit with significant variations by sub-region and economic structure.

It is alsoenvisioned that there will be a recovery in growth for commodity exporters. This is anticipated to be robust in non-energy commodity exporters like Niger, Ghana and Botswana.

A sovereign credit rating is an independent assessment of the creditworthiness of a country or sovereign entity.

Sovereign credit ratings can give investors insights into the level of risk associated with investing in the debt of a particular country/region including any political risk

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Providing crime solutions

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Providing crime solutions

Faced with the daunting challenge of unemployment, a 20-year-old man decided to go the entrepreneurship route and registered a security company.

Five years later and Ditiro Leutlwetse is still holding dear to the dream that one day First Crime Solutions will be amongst the biggest employers in the country.

“The company was specifically registered to create meaningful employment for the many youths roaming the streets,” explained the ambitious youth, whose business is based in Francistown but whose services can be hired across Botswana.

The God fearing youngster, a member of Days of Glory Church, told Voice Money he is confident of the ripple effects his company can have on society.

“Young people would gain meaningful employment and put food on the table, while some will be bread winners for their families. This is what drives me!” underlined the father-of-two who originally hails from Palapye.

Some of the services offered by First Crime Solutions include: Guarding (armed and unarmed security officers), Private Investigations, V.I.P Protection, Bodyguard, Access Control, Armed Response, CCTV Surveillance and Security Officer (dog handler).

Narrating how he arrived at the idea of setting up a security company at such a young age, Leutlwetse said a few tough years of unemployment left him thinking outside the box.

“I approached someone with the idea of registering a security company and they pointed me in the right direction. I went to the Office of the President where I filled out forms; the entire process took less than six months.”

Leutlwetse admits it has not been smooth sailing since he satisfied the vetting process from OP through the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS).

“I knew it was never going to be easy as a new company to breakthrough in this highly competitive market. Companies prefers the tried and tested, that is why you see all the established security companies getting all the tenders,” he said.

The determined youngster added that although his company is yet to win a lucrative tender, he will never lose hope.

“I’m forever optimistic. In fact I believe this year, the wheel of fortune will finally move and we’ll get a chance to show what we can offer!” exclaimed Leutlwetse, who revealed he has submitted ‘one or two’ tender documents and is hopeful of a positive response.

The entrepreneur says his enterprise is dedicated to providing excellent services and solutions to individuals, businesses and communities.

“We’ve highly trained and well equipped personnel who are monitored hourly from their posts.”

Leutlwetse said what sets them apart from other companies is that they believe in training their security personnel. He stressed training is a vital component in ensuring that security personnel are adequately equipped to provide their clients with first-rate service.

“We do this by providing Legislated Grade Training, Site Specific Training and Ongoing Refresher Training. Refresher Training is also conducted on a regular basis to ensure the company’s prescribed standard of competency is maintained,” Leutlwetse said.

The young man further told Voice Money that they have fostered relations with other local businesses to help them deliver on their mandate should they be engaged in the foreseeable future.

“I’m not then kind to give up on my dream that is why I urge other young people to remain focused and keep doing the things they are good at. It is also important to commit to God, because all I’m doing today is through his grace,” concluded Leutlwetse humbly.

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