21 Aug 2017
Letshego Holdings Limited has announced plans to list in the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) as part of its financial inclusion strategy.
This will see the company put up its shares for sale to Namibians through a planned Initial Public Offering (IPO). In a statement, the company states that its purpose is to provide simple, appropriate and accessible solutions to the financially under-served and excluded in a sustainable manner, including, but not limited to government employees.
“In line with this the planned IPO will include people who are typically financially excluded and are a key part of Letshego’s financial inclusion strategy,” says the statement.
Letshego Namibia Holdings Chief Executive, Ester Kali said the planned IPO will be a first of its kind on the NSX as the public offer will prioritise educating members of the general public, giving preference to Namibian residents. This is with a primary focus on previously disadvantaged Namibians.
“We believe that to be totally financially inclusive, we should offer Namibians the opportunity to be part of our growth. Through the planned IPO, partners, customers and wider stakeholders of Letshego have an opportunity to own shares in this business they have come to know so well. As we grow, so shall ordinary Namibians’ wealth. We believe this is what empowerment is all about, as Letshego is now becoming our Letshego,” she said.
Kali said they will be calling the planned IPO “Ekwafo Letu” which means “Our Support”. “This is in recognition of what Letshego, at its core, stands for: to provide support. Support to those who are typically under-served by traditional financial institutions. Our Letshego story is about empowerment, via the solutions we provide, and now via Ekwafo Letu,” said Kali.
Meanwhile Letshego Holdings Limited subsidiary in Namibia acquired a commercial banking licence for Letshego Bank Namibia in 2016 enabling it to offer more comprehensive financial services in Namibia after being granted a provisional licence in 2014.
Letshego Group entered the Namibian market after the group bought all the shares of Edu-Loan (Namibia), a registered Namibian company since 1997.
The company has been dedicated to embracing financial inclusion through helping over 55,000 customers, including the rural and under-served populations, in Namibia with meeting their housing, health, education and business needs. Through this, Letshego aims to drive socio-economic development across its African footprint.
Letshego Namibia serves over 50 percent of the Namibian civil service who now benefit from its deposit-taking and broader services. Further, it supports the National Harambee Prosperity Plan, which states ‘the most effective way to address poverty is through wealth creation’.
The Group has been publicly listed on Botswana Stock Exchange since 2002 and currently it is one of Botswana’s largest indigenous groups, with a market capitalisation in excess of USD400 million (NAD5.2 billion) that places it in the top 50 listed sub-Saharan companies (excluding-South Africa) and with an agenda focused on inclusive finance.
Through its 11-country presence across Southern, East and West Africa (Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Swaziland, Tanzania and Uganda), its subsidiaries provide microfinance banking and consumer lending solutions.
By: Keikantse Lesemela