Thursday, December 5, 2019

BBS Limited remains suspended at BSE as audit drags on…

External auditors of BBS Limited – KPMG are said to have asked to be given up to end of January 2020 to conclude to an audit on the local banker.

The capital market and investors have been eagerly waiting for BBS limited to say a word relating to its pending financial results whose delay has been directly linked to the ongoing external audit.

The semi commercial bank which trades its stock at the Botswana Stock Exchange has failed to publish its financial results for the period that ended December 2018 leaving shareholders and capital markets nervous.

Initially the bank had said that it expects the audit to be concluded no later than the 31 May 2019. The audit and subsequent publication of the financials was to be followed by the Annual General Meeting (AGM) for shareholders which were penciled for July 2019.

In August 2019, BBS issued a statement saying that its external auditors – KPMG are expected to kick start the finalisation of the audit of the company’s 2018 financials.

At the time, BBS also said that KPMG will be better placed to make estimates on the time left before the audit of the financials is closed. This week in a statement shared with the capital markets, BBS noted, “The auditors have since advised that it will take up to 31 January 2020 to conclude the audit. While it would have been desired that the audit be concluded as soon as possible given the inordinate delay in releasing the financials for the concerned period, the Board and Management recognise the importance of allowing the auditors to carry out their work unhindered”.

Since March 2019, the commercial bank-to-be has not been able to publish its full year results a thing they blame on the on-going demutualisation process.

BBS limited kick started the process to turn into a full commercial bank after its shareholders approved the demutualisation process in late 2017.

STILL SUSPENDED…….

AS per the BSEL Trading and Listing rules the banker’s shares which trade on the Serala over the counter board remain suspended. The shares have been on suspension for over several months now. At the time of suspension, in April 2019, the BBS Limited board said the suspension should not cause undue concern to shareholders.

Shareholders are advised that while they are unable to trade in BBS Limited shares for the time being, the development should not cause undue concern”, BBS Limited board said in April 2019.

Fast forward to August 2019, while not giving much light, the board said that the delay to conclude the audit is “disappointing to all concerned” adding that the shares remains suspended until the audited financials are released.

However, in its August communiqué to the shareholders and capital market players, the BBS Limited board could not shed light on the possible new date for the AGM.

The date for the Annual General Meeting will be announced in due course”, reads part of the cautionary statement published on 15 August 2019.

Fast forward to November BBS says, “The delay in concluding the audit for the period ended December 2018 has had an impact on the timelines of the demutualisation process. Details will be provided at the meeting of Shareholders whose date will be announced in due course”

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