The recent visit to Zimbabwe by the Botswana business delegation (18-20 May 2009) under the leadership of BOCCIM achieved its intended objectives, a statement from the organisation said.
In the feedback, those who participated in the mission expressed great appreciation of BOCCIM’s initiative in undertaking this trip. Many said it had been an eye opener while quite a number stated that they will make follow up trips to Zimbabwe on their own to further pursue the discussions they initiated during the trip. The BOCCIM trade mission came about following an invitation to BOCCIM by the Botswana government to participate in the programme of assistance to the Zimbabwe’s Short Term Economic Recovery Programme (STERP).The BOCCIM Executive Council established a task team whose main objective was to spearhead the private sector’s participation in the proposed programme of assistance. The purpose of the visit by the Botswana private sector was primarily to meet their counterparts in Zimbabwe to identify the needs of the Zimbabwean private sector, to explore opportunities of working together through business linkages. The delegation held meetings with the Zimbabwe business community and was addressed by Professor Welshman Ncube, the Minister of Industry and Commerce.
Market closes week up
The Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) domestic board closed May 2009 at 6089.83 points up 0.04 percent on the week, but 6.2 percent over 13 weeks. According to Capital Securities, the market capitalisation was P23, 945 million; on aggregate large cap stocks added 0.1 percent over the week., mid caps added 1.8 percent and small caps closed unchanged. Over 13 weeks, large caps are off 3.2 percent, mid caps 20.4 percent, small caps up 0.7 percent. Of the 20 domestic counters, 10 traded over the week; two closed heavier, one lost weight and 17 closed unchanged.
The brokerage firm added that of the 8 Botswana mining related stocks on the foreign board, four traded; one closed heavier, two lighter and five were unchanged. The market cap of these stocks was P29, 584 million. Over the week it had grown 15.4 percent, over the 13 weeks, it is up 90.1 percent. Meanwhile, trade on the domestic board over the week was 422, 577 shares or 0.02 percent of the float of shares free to trade on the market, which on aggregate is 38 percent of the total shares in issue-over 13 weeks it is 33, 569, 924 shares or 1.55 percent of the float. Trade in the Botswana mining related stocks was 152, 686 shares or 0.01 percent of shares issued. Over 13 weeks, it is 4, 264, 577 shares or 0.22 percent.
Chobe Holdings releases results
Chobe Holdings has released positive results for the year ended 28 February 2009 with revenues going up by 45.0 percent to P124.6 million on the back of increased occupancies and favourable exchange rates, especially in the first three quarters of the year.
Stockbrokers Botswana says the bulk of the growth was organic with the remainder coming from the opening of Leroo la Tau lodge and the acquisition of camps operated the Ker and Downey Botswana. Operating expenses for the period rose by 47. 6 percent to P72.1 million. On the other hand, operating profit rose by 23.7 percent to P43. 7 million. Goodwill of about P30.3 million was written off leading to a pre tax profit decline of 58.0 percent. On the normalised basis, however pre tax profit is up 27.4 percent and a final cross dividend of 21 thebe per share was declared.
S&P ’09 gold, copper and nickel base price assumptions raised
Standard & Poor’s this week increased its 2009 price assumptions for copper, nickel and gold, citing higher market prices year-to-date, and also futures prices. However, S&P Credit Analysts Alex Herbert, Donald Marleau and Emmanuel Dubois-Pelerin lowered their 2009 price assumption for aluminum “due to ongoing weak demand and supply.”
“Generally, we continue to expect near-term prices for base metals to be relatively weak, as demand in industrial end markets such as auto and construction remains depressed due to the global slowdown. Despite production cutbacks by companies in response to the difficult industry conditions, which are partly due to cash losses being generated by high-cost assets, we see that inventories are still high in certain segments,” the analysts advised. Gold. S&P raised its 2009 gold price assumption to $850 per ounce and the long-term price assumption to $600/oz, while assumptions for 2010 and 2011 remain unchanged. “Prices for 2009 are supported by investors seeking a hedge on inflation risks and against uncertainty in financial markets.” Copper. The copper price assumptions for 2009-2011 were raised to $1.75/lb ($3,860 per metric tonne) and kept the long-term price unchanged at $1.50 ($3,308). Nickel. S&P raised its nickel price assumptions for 2009-2011 to $5/lb ($11,025 per metric tonne) and for the long term to $5.50 ($3,308).
Oil prices continue rally to $66
Oil prices hit a six-month high, buoyed by falling US stockpiles, amid signs the US economy is not shrinking as fast as people thought.
US light crude for July delivery climbed $1.16 to $66.24 a barrel, before falling back to $65.77. A Commerce Department report on first quarter GDP showed a 5.7% contraction – revised down from an initial 6.1% fall.
On Thursday, the Energy Information Administration said US oil supplies had dropped for the third week in a row.
Also on Thursday, OPEC oil ministers decided to keep output unchanged, amid optimism that prices are set to rise. The Saudi oil minister predicted prices will reach $75 this year. “We’ve got a lot more optimism about the economic outlook than we did,” said Toby Hassall, an analyst with Commodity Warrants Australia in Sydney. “The market is factoring in a recovery in demand by the end of the year.”
(BBC, Reuters, Sunday Standard, Capital Securities, Stockbrokers Botswana)