Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Local bank set to fund Gamecity mall expansion

The funding of the expansion of the popular and luxurious Gaborone mall, Gamecity, will be done through a loan acquired from an unnamed local bank, owners of the mall, Turnstar Holdings have said.

The company’s managing director, Gulaam Abdoola, told financial journalists and analysts on Monday that his company will seek financial assistance from the local banks to fund the expansion of Game City mall in Gaborone and Mlimani City in Tanzania.

Although he did not mention any names, it is highly likely that the bank could get its funding from Barclays Bank Botswana.

In 2012, Barclays made the biggest venture ever into the African continent by financing the Turnstar acquisition of the Mlimani City in Tanzania while in last year, the company transferred its term loan from the First National Bank Botswana (FNBB) to Barclays Bank Botswana.

As local firms and corporations continue to announce plans for regional markets expansion, Barclays Bank Botswana, seems to be targeting opportunities in that line of business.

The British bank, which has in the past partnered with companies such as leading retailer, Choppies Limited, confirmed earlier this year that it is ‘ready’ to finance spread outs to foreign markets by other Botswana based businesses.

The corporate Regional Head for Southern Africa, Dr Mabouba Diagne of the Barclays Africa group, says that the bank has identified corporate financing as one area that the bank should venture into.

The move to re-develop the Game city mall was first announced in February with officials saying it is meant to ensure that it remains the premier shopping centre in the city following the arrival of new malls such as Airport Junction, Sebele and Rail park mall.

According to Abdoola, the redeveloped shopping centre will have additional 8,500sqm of letable space which will comprise a fashion avenue for brand savvy clients, a well-designed restaurant area with terrace sitting, a multi-function entertainment area and kids play area.?“The restaurant area will be the destination of choice for fine dining, and will cater for night life with a safe and retro urban environment overlooking the panoramic Kgale hill,” Abdoola said.┬á

Although he could not give specific time for the kickoff of the expansion project, Abdoola said that the construction on both projects should start mid-2014 and be completed by the end of 2015.

It is anticipated that these projects will boost revenue of the company by approximately 25 percent.

Meanwhile the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) listed company shows in its financial statements that its lease revenues stood at P 223.1 million, which was 16 percent better than P192.1 million reported on the prior year.

The group profit before fair valuation of investment property and tax increased by 32.6 percent from P104 million (2013) to P138.4 million and the company said the tax charge of P70.8 million comprises wholly of a deferred tax charge.

At the same time, the group’s total comprehensive income of the year stood at P333.2 million, an improvement from P166.3 million on the corresponding period.

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