Sunday, September 27, 2020

Controversial BIFM share sale reversed

The Botswana Insurance Holding Limited (BIHL) board of directors this week reversed the controversial sale of BIFM shares to executive managers and directors.

In his speech at the BIHL Annual General Meeting on Thursday, board chairman, Mclean Letshwiti, said “in response to shareholder concerns, the board will take measures to redress the adverse effects on the company, including the reversal of the transaction in its entirety without prejudice to minorities.”

Letshwiti further stated that “with the benefit of hindsight, I must respectfully state that this transaction could have served the desired purpose if public perceptions and expectations had been handled differently through communication of the transaction to stakeholders at a more appropriate time instead of relying only on the announcement in the annual report.”

The controversy is believed to have affected the BIHL shares on the Botswana Stock Exchange. Although BIHL recently released its best financial results ever, its share prices on the stock market continued to fall.

The Bank of Botswana last week cancelled its asset management contract with BIFM citing reports that BIFM executives managers and directors had secretly sold themselves P300 million worth of shares in the company.
BoB, the Botswana government’s principal advisor on economic issues, joined the groundswell of opinion against MacLean Letshwiti, Keith Jefferies, Regina Vaka and Victor Senye’s purchase of a 10 percent shareholding in BIFM, an asset management arm of BIHL.
The entire transaction is currently being reviewed by the Botswana Stock Exchange and the Non-Banking Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority.

FOR DETAILS READ INDEPTH AND PAGE 13

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Sunday Standard September 27 – 3 October

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 27 - 3 October, 2020.