Saturday, July 4, 2020

LETSHEGO NOT KEEN TO EXPAND FOOTPRINTS

Markets at which pan African lender – Letshego has no presence will have to wait until the company re-gains an expansion appetite as for now the BSEL quoted company says it has none.

Acting Chief Executive – Dumisani Ndebele confirmed this week that there is currently no appetite for any new acquisitions.

“We are fine with what we have currently in the markets that we operate in now.” Ndebele said.   

At the same time, some of the territories that host the Botswana originating brand should brace for a possible exit by the company.

Its directors have already drawn up a comprehensive rationalisation and optimization strategy of all aspects of the group which has already commenced and is expected to be completed in the second half of 2019.

Ndebele this week said that the strategy is at a geographic, product and channel levels and may result in certain existing countries or products or channels being discontinued or exited over time.

The group diversified its offering in 2012 through the acquisition of Micro Africa Limited in East Africa – providing loans to micro and small entrepreneurs (MSEs), collective groups as well as to low and middle income earners. The MSE portfolio continues to steadily grow – as at December 2016, the total micro finance book stood at US$ 71million.

Meanwhile the group also said that commenced the process for the identification and appointment of a permanent Group CEO.

The absence of a substantive leader has been identified amongst factors contributing to the group’s poor performance at the capital markets.

Letshego’s stock price at BSEL last week recorded a steep share price drop retailing at 87 thebe. This means since the beginning of the year, the share value has declined by 46 percent, and has become one of the top three worst performers in the stock exchange.

Ndebele said that management and the board are concerned about the share price performance, and added that he understood that shareholders are equally concerned at this point in time.

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Sunday Standard June 28 – 4 July

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of June 28 - 4 July, 2020.