Sunday, March 3, 2024

RMB report exposes ‘pressured margins’ in Botswana’s financial services

Rand Merchant Bank Botswana (RMB), a division of First National Bank Botswana (FNBB), says Botswana has a highly competitive financial services market in which one of the greater challenges is the fact that margins are under pressure.

Despite the country’s positive growth rate, rising costs are impacting on disposable income and that, in turn, is impacting on the manufacturing and retail sectors in particular.

Within this environment, superior, professional services and relevant solutions that make a difference in the lives of customers are essential differentiators.

The bank’s 2014 annual report indicates that following the rebranding process, RMB focused on finalising the three major transactions, which have made a significant contribution to their book.

The statement indicates that by the end of the financial year under review, RMB had already started working on a number of large, and in some cases more complex, transactions in response to market demand particularly in the public sector.

These included structured financing for business expansion, as well as for energy and infrastructure projects.

“What sets RMB Botswana apart is our unique ability to assess clients’ needs and develop tailored solutions to meet those needs. This, we believe, will continue to be an important differentiator for us,” reads the statement.

RMB said that it has been well received in Botswana, attributing this in part to the strength of its brand, which is trusted by customers across a broad spectrum of industries.

According RMB Botswana, many local companies are expanding into the rest of Southern Africa, thereby presenting significant opportunities for RMB Botswana.

Further opportunities are presented by the expansion of South African companies and others from the region into Botswana.

RMB noted that companies have one thing in common in that they require a range of corporate and investment banking services such as acquisition finance, equity participation, currency hedging and corporate advisory services to further their ambitions.

The bank added that its insights into the Botswana market and its position within the greater sub-Saharan market are also highly valued.

“The mining sector in particular which, to date, has been the bedrock of Botswana’s economy, is offering new opportunities. These include the birth of junior miners and other businesses as part of the outcome of the emphasis on mining beneficiation. Within this context, RMB’s formal presence in Botswana has made the bank’s products and services more accessible to a wide range of companies,” reads the report.

Furthermore, RMB stated in the report that it is also important that its customers, potential and existing, continue to see value in doing business with RMB Botswana, adding that for the 2015 financial year, RMB will be expanding its range of solutions, tailor-making them to ensure they best respond to the needs of the customers.

“We are committed to investing in understanding the markets in which we operate as well as the segments within. This should stand us in good stead in 2015, which we believe will deliver good growth and better performance. We remain optimistic and look forward to the year ahead,” said RMB.

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