Wednesday, May 22, 2024

StanChart boss breaks silence

Mpho Masupe is upbeat.

We’re midway through the interview and the Standard Chartered Bank Managing Director is waxing lyrical. “We are doing great. Our share price has grown exponentially by just under 60%, it has grown by 43% so far, just for the year. We have been the best performing share on the Botswana Stock Exchange for the past two years. In 2022 our stock was the best performing with a 46% growth. In 2021 we were still the best performing with a 25% growth.”

A medley of Masupe’s buoyance, the bank’s balance sheet and stock market performance belie the radio mall tittle tattle that Standard Chartered Bank may be winding up its business in Botswana.

You can call it a leap of faith or a deep conviction, but Standard Chartered Bank stated taking bets on Botswana even when the country was just a God forsaken dust bowl with nothing going for it. Standard Chartered Bank opened its first branch in Francistown in 1897, making it Botswana’s first bank. In 1956, the office was given full branch status and this was followed by the opening of branches in Lobatse (1958), Mahalapye (1963) and Gaborone (1964). The early stage is where maximum failures and setbacks happen, but Standard Chartered braved it all. This offers clues on Standard Chartered Bank’s readiness to take the unbeaten road.

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