Sunday, July 3, 2022

Afena Capital banking on experience to succeed in Botswana market

Afena Capital, the new asset management company said it entered the Botswana market because it is the arena it knows better, is “passionate about” and has significant experience in managing portfolios and asset management operations.

The chairman of the new outfit, Tebogo Naledi, said at the launch of the company at the GICC this week that they also have entrepreneurial drive of citizen management team that has the necessary experience of the country’s Collective Investment Undertaking industry.

“Botswana is the market that we know; we understand better and are passionate about,” said Naledi, who is the former Managing Director of Investec Asset Management Botswana.

“(….we have a) differentiated position from competitors in terms of our investment offering, our partnership model (and) our commitment,” he added.

Afena Capital Botswana is a partnership between Afena Capital, which was established in South Africa in 2005 and has P23 billion in assets under management. It is in the top 20 of South Africa’s asset managers and has a client base of 50 institutional and individual investors.

Although only registered last year by regulators, the company has taken first client in Botswana in March, which will be a major confidence boost in a competitive market where there are 13 asset managers and 6 management companies competing for a slice of the multi-billion Pula Collective Investment Undertaking cake.

Afena Capital Botswana is owned 55 percent by Afena Capital Ltd and 45 percent by citizen management team.

The value of retirement funds in Botswana sits at P46.7 billion (37 percent of the GDP) as of September 2012 with regulators pushing for that money to be invested home following the risky exposure to the global markets.

Vice President, Ponatshego Kedikilwe said given the long term savings in Botswana, an important opportunity exists for these savings to become more active sources of capital to drive economic growth.

Government has been active issuer of bonds since 2004 to fund public works, although critics say this is little as there are still high capital inflows from abroad, which defeats the spirit of developing the local debt market.

There are 34 bond instruments listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) and the percentage of the total pension fund assets invested in the domestic bonds has increased from just over 3 percent in 2005 just over 14 percent in 2012.

Kedikilwe warned fund managers to give pride and place to the clients they manage funds for, including the rural folks.

“In essence, it is critical to remember that long term savings that are managed by the fund management industry in Botswana are funds that ultimately belong to hundreds of thousands of citizens of Botswana,” said Kedikilwe.

“This, therefore, places an important fiduciary responsibility on the people managing these funds to always act responsibly and professionally in the execution of their roles as custodians of the nation’s savings”.

Non Bank Financial Institution Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA) is the regulator for non banking sector participants including pension fund managers.

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