Home » The 20 richest investors on the Botswana Stock Exchange

The 20 richest investors on the Botswana Stock Exchange

by Omokolade Ajayi

Botswana, whose economy is heavily reliant on diamond production, has a lacklustre stock market.

The Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) has just 31 equity listings and 49 bond listings. Of these listings, the vast majority are issued by mining companies.

Liquidity is also concentrated in among a handful of companies. In 2020, the shares of First National Bank Botswana, the Sechaba brewery company and the Letshego microfinance lender accounted for 47 percent of the total equity turnover, according to The Africa Report.

While a significant majority of Botswana’s wealthiest individuals continue to shun its local bourse ­– preferring to build their fortunes through privately-owned companies – the Botswana Stock Exchange still accounts for a substantial portion of the wealth of a number of the country’s richest individuals.

Based on figures derived from investment agencies, the latest annual reports and confirmations from capital market registrars, these are the 20 richest people who own stocks listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange. The value of their shares is based on prices at the end of trading on Aug. 20, and valuations are converted to U.S. dollars at current exchange rates.

1. Ramachandran Ottapathu

Net worth on the BSE: $40.9 million

Holdings: Choppies, Far Property Company Limited

Choppies CEO Ramachandran Ottapathu owns a 26.8-percent stake in Far Property Company Limited, a listed real estate development company that owns more than 170 commercial properties in Botswana and South Africa – the majority of which are warehouses and shopping centres where from retail giant Choppies Enterprises operates. Ottapathu also owns 19.7 percent of Choppies.

Ottapathu, 56, relocated to Botswana from India in the 1990s and eventually joined Wayside Supermarket, a small family-owned supermarket, as its CEO. Over two decades, he transformed Wayside into Choppies Enterprises, Botswana’s largest grocery and general merchandise retailer. The value of his stakes in both companies adds up to $40.9 million, making him the richest person on the Botswana Stock Exchange.

2. Farouk Ismail

Net worth on the BSE: $39.5 million

Holdings: Choppies, Far Property Company Limited, Botswana Telecommunications Company

Farouk Ismail’s father was the founder of Wayside Supermarket, the small family-owned retailer that eventually became Choppies Enterprises.  He owns a 15.27-percent stake in the retailer, which is valued at $10.9 million. His other assets on the BSE include 28.69 percent of Far Property Company Limited, worth $27.7 million, and a 1.19-percent stake in Botswana Telecommunications Company, worth a little over $800,000.

3. Jonathan Gibson

Net worth on the BSE: $22.7 million

Holdings: Chobe Holdings ­

Gibson is the deputy chairman and CEO of Chobe Holdings, which owns and operates lodges and camps on leased lands in Northern Botswana and the Caprivi Strip in Namibia. He owns 35.59 percent of the company – a stake worth $22.7 million.

4. Gulaam Abdoola

Net worth on the BSE: $14.6 million

Holdings: Turnstar Holdings

Gulaam Hussain Abdoola is the founder of Turnstar Holdings, a property investment company that owns shopping centers, office, commercial, residential and industrial properties in Botswana, Tanzania, and the United Arab Emirates. He currently owns an estimated 14-percent stake in the company.

5. Chandra Chauhan

Net worth on the BSE: $11.9 million

Holdings: Sefalana Holding Company 

Chandra Chauhan is the group managing director of Sefalana Holding Company,  a retail conglomerate that operates a chain of retail supermarkets, convenience stores, cash and carry outlets, hyper stores and liquor stores. The 5.53-percent stake that he owns in the company is worth $11.9 million.

6. Giorgio Giachetti

Net worth on the BSE: $10.9 million

Holdings: RDC Properties

Giorgio Giachetti is a co-founder of RDC Properties, a property investment and development company that owns office, industrial, retail, residential and hospitality properties in Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, the United States, and Madagascar. His 15.98-percent stake is currently worth $10.9 million.

7. Alexander Kelly

Net worth on the BSE: $8.8 million

Holdings: Primetime Property Holdings

Alexander Kelly owns 40,480,008 shares in Primetime Property Holdings, a property management, development and rental company in Botswana where he serves as managing director. His shares have a current value of $8.8 million.

8. Mashale Phumaphi

Net worth on the BSE: $6.3 million

Holdings: Shumba Energy

Mashale Phumaphi owns a 25.1-percent stake in Shumba Energy, a company involved in the trade of solar and coal energy. Phumaphi is the company’s founder and CEO. His stake is worth $6.3 million.

9. Hitesh Anadkat

Net worth on the BSE: $5.5 million

Holdings: Letshego Holdings

Hitesh Anadkat, a prominent Malawian banking tycoon, owns a 2.76-percent stake in Letshego Holdings worth $5.5 million. Letshego Holdings provides short- and medium-term unsecured loans to the employees of public, quasi-public and private sectors.

10. Alexander Whitehouse

Net worth on the BSE: $5.5 million

Holdings: Chobe Holdings ­

Alexander Whitehouse, a director of Chobe, owns a 8.53-percent stake in Chobe Holdings through his private investment firm, Angold (Pty) Ltd.

11. Adams Dambe Chilisa

Net worth on the BSE: $3.65 million

Holdings: Chobe Holdings

Adams Dambe Chilisa, a Botswanan businessman with interests in the hospitality industry, owns 5.7 percent of Chobe Holdings, which is listed on the BSE. His stake is valued at $3.65 million.

12. Claude de Bruin

Net worth on the BSE: $3.1 million

Holdings: Minergy

Claude de Bruin is a co-founder and owner of a 9.07-percent stake in Minergy Limited, a company that engages in the exploration, development, mining, and trading of thermal coal. Minergy supplies coal to industrial end-users.

13. Duncan Lewis

Net worth on the BSE: $3.1 million

Holdings: CA Sales Holdings

Duncan Lewis is the CEO and largest individual shareholder of CA Sales Holdings. The company engages in the sales, merchandising, warehousing, distribution, debtor’s administration, marketing and promotions, transport, and training activities for the blue-chip manufacturers in the fast-moving consumer goods industry. It operates in numerous countries in Southern Africa.

14. Anthony Geldard

Net worth on the BSE: $2.8 million

Holdings: CA Sales Holdings

Anthony Geldard is the managing director of Logico Unlimited, a subsidiary of CA&S group, South Africa. He owns a 1.86-percent stake in CA Sales Holdings Limited, valued at $2.8 million.

15. John Astrup

Net worth on the BSE: $2.9 million

Holdings: Minergy

John Astrup is a general manager and the second largest individual shareholder at Minergy Limited, which engages in the exploration, development, mining, and trading of thermal coal.

16. He Liesen ­

Net worth on the BSE: $2.1 million

Holdings: Shumba Energy

 He Liesen owns a 8.47-percent stake in Shumba Energy, a company involved in the trade of solar and coal energy. His stake is worth $2.1 million.

17. G.H. Haniger

Net worth on the BSE: $2 million

Holdings: Chobe Holdings

G.H. Haniger owns a 3.14-percent stake in Chobe Holdings. His stake is worth $2 million.

18. Ramnauth Munesh Sharma

Net worth on the BSE: $1.25 million

Holdings: Shumba Energy

Ramnauth Munesh Sharma, a Mauritian national, owns a 4.91-percent stake in Shumba Energy, valued at $1.25 million.

19. Festus Mogae

Net worth on the BSE: $1.2 million

Holdings: Choppies, Far Property Company Limited

Botswana’s former president Festus Mogae owns a 1.51-percent stake in Choppies, the country’s largest retailer. The stake is worth over $1 million. He also owns shares in Far Property Company worth a little over $200,000.

20. Andre Boje

Net worth on the BSE: $1.08 million

Holdings: Minergy

Andre Boje, the former CEO of Minergy, still retains a 3.19-percent stake in the company. His stake is valued at $1.08 million.

Mfonobong Nsehe contributed to this report. Comments can be sent to: [email protected].

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