BDC grows in leaps

The Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) is to embark on a P465 million project to manufacture float glass for domestic and export markets.

The project would be financed through a syndicated funding arrangement. BDCs managing director Kenneth Matambo said yesterday that the corporation was planning to build an amusement park at a cost of P16 million to cater for people in and around Gaborone.

Speaking at the corporations 35th anniversary celebration in Gaborone, Matambo said other projects that they would develop with a group of citizens, include P195 million plants to manufacture bone china tableware and sanitary ware.

BDC would also provide primary infrastructure on a residential land in Block 5, near Grand Palm at an estimated cost of P22.3 million.

The corporation was established by government in 1970. Its total investment both equity and loans stood at P1.12 billion in 2003 from P755 000 when it was established 35 years ago.

Matambo said BDCs mandate was to finance commercially viable businesses through partnership with local and foreign investors.

This was in recognition of the absence of meaningful private sector at that time, which could contribute to economic diversification.

Some of the corporations early investments included Botswana Tyre Corporation, Botswana Diamond Valuing Company, Kgalagadi Breweries, Botswana Hotel Development Company which boast of seven hotels throughout Botswana operated by its subsidiary company, Cresta Marakanelo.

Matambo said other projects included Holiday Inn International, now Gaborone Sun, Botswana Airways Corporation, now Air Botswana, Sefalana sa Botswana, Botswana Insurance Company, Financial Services Company, Stock Brokers Botswana, Bolux Milling, Car Rentals Botswana operating under the Avis international franchise.

He said with the new management and operational systems, the BDC experienced growth as it moved from negative accumulated capital reserves and loses to the current level of profitability.

Profit increased from a loss of P145 million in 1999 to successive profits of P8 million in 2000, P25 million in 2001, P37 million in 2002, P48.5 million in 2003 and P65.5 million last year.

Some of the land mark projects that the BDC was able to deliver in recent times included Lobatse Tile worth P100 million, which manufacture ceramic tiles using clay deposits in the area, Gaborone International Convention Centre costing P89 million and the International Financial Services Centre for P15 million.

Other recent investments included Riverwalk Shopping Complex that was co-financed with other partners and the expansion of Phakalane Estates development, which was later re-financed by a commercial bank.

Matambo said for the year, which ended in June 2005 the corporation made a net profit of P68.6 million compared to P65.5 million in 2004.

Turnover increased by 22 per cent from P101.5 million in 2004 to P123.3 million in 2005. The corporation also saw its investment portfolio both equity and loans expand by a further P58.3 million during 2005. BOPA

600450 BDC grows in leaps

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