Botswana: Bank of Botswana Accounts for Every Single Thebe

Gaborone — Bank of Botswana (BoB) governor, Mr Moses Pelaelo has assured the nation and other stakeholders globally, that contrary to some media reports there is no single thebe that is not fully accounted for by BoB.

In his welcome remarks at BoB 2019 Media Economic briefing May 21, Mr Pelaelo said as a central bank, BoB was a separate legal entity and therefore not audited by the Auditor General.

"It is audited by an independent statutory public audit firm appointed in accordance with the provisions of Section 67 of the Bank of Botswana Act," he said.

These public audit firms, Mr Pelaelo explained, were subject to rotation rules, of both the lead engagement partner and the audit firm itself, after a prescribed period of time in accordance with international best practices.

Over the 43 years of its existence, he said BoB's financial statements had obtained a clean audit report that confirmed appropriate maintenance of accounts, existence of sound risk management and internal control environment and, in general, effective governance structures at the Bank.

Giving an overview of BoB financial results and highlights of the bank's operations in 2018, BoB chief financial officer, Mr Daniel Loeto said overall the bank was successful in implementing the 2018 work programme and in general and has achieved its policy objectives for the year.

Mr Loeto said the global economic activity was modest at 3.7 per cent growth, compared to growth of 3.8 per cent in 2017, reflecting a slower pace of increase in global demand.

In the euro area, he said, growth for advanced economies reflected slow rate of output expansion, with uncertainty regarding Brexit, as well as adverse impact of inward-looking policies.

He also noted that during 2018, emerging markets economies were affected by trade tensions that China and other Asian economies experienced.

Additionally, BoB chief financial officer said low interest rate environment returns persisted; hence there were low returns on bonds and significant adverse valuations of global stock markets, especially in the last quarter of the year.

However, although administration costs were lower, he said level and costs of BoB Certificates increased.

Furthermore, Mr Loeto said a higher net income of P2.9 million was realised in 2018, compared to P739.5 million in 2017, due to realised fair value gains, resulting from implementation of revised investment guidelines.

Compared to P1.9 billion distributed to government in 2017, he said in 2018, P4.8 billion was distributed to government, 'after transfer of P5.9 billion and P4 billion from or to fair value and currency revaluation reserves, respectively.'

This distribution comprised P740 million pre-set dividend and P4 101 million residual income," he added.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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