Finance and Economic Development Minister Kenneth Matambo has said that he is not able to tell the precise number of shares held by the government at the Botswana Building Society (BBS).
BBS, one of the country’s top mortgage lenders is currently preparing necessary documents as it readies to demutualise.
This week, Matambo told Parliament that he can only recall that at some point the government was holding majority of shares of at BBS.
“As for the other members, they are many, including Pension Managers, Asset Managers as well as a number of Batswana may be some of them are present here”, said Matambo whilst responding to supplementary question from Special Elected Member of Parliament Bogolo Kenewendo.
Top of it’s to do-list, the BBS intends to complete the process of ceasing to operate as a society and is expected to apply for a banking licence with Bank of Botswana (BoB) by December 2017.
Already a conversion Statement, to be circulated to all shareholders this month is said to have been prepared whilst a special general meeting is scheduled to be held in the capital Gaborone on the 24th August 2017.
“Once the shareholders have approved the conversion of BBS into a company, the society will then submit an application for a commercial banking license to Bank of Botswana”, Matambo said on Tuesday.
The society reported a 13 percent fall in profit during the year ended March 31, 2017 amid a challenging economic environment characterised by subdued housing market and squeezed household incomes.
In a statement accompanying its financials, the managing director, Pius Molefe explained that the decline in profit was exacerbated by the fact that the business has a very limited product range compared to its competitors.
For the twelve months to March 2017, the society earned a profit of P47.9 million, reflecting a 13% decrease from P54.9 million the previous year.
Amongst others, the BBS look to be stronger in the future as it prepares to become the first indigenous commercial bank in the country. The country currently has ten commercial banks and three statutory banks being Botswana Savings Bank (BSB), National Development Bank (NDB) and Botswana Buildings Society (BBS).