Botswana-based businessman Jonathan Gibson has seen the market value of his equity stake in Chobe Holdings decline by BWP57.3 million ($5.1 million) in the past 123 days, as shares in the group plunged to their lowest price in five years or more.
The value loss came off a double-digit decline in the group’s shares, as investors took flight to safety after reports revealed that the group recorded a 170-percent decline in its profit.
Chobe Holdings Limited operates 12 ecotourism lodges and camps on leased land in Northern Botswana and the Caprivi Strip in Namibia under the Desert & Delta Safari brands, Chobe Game Lodge, Ker & Downey Botswana and Sedia Riverside Hotel.
It also controls Safari Air, a wholly-owned air charter operator providing air transport services to the group’s camps and lodges, as well as North West Air Proprietary Limited, a wholly-owned air maintenance operation that provides maintenance services to the group’s aircraft and third parties.
Gibson, the deputy chairman and CEO of Chobe Holdings who was recently appointed to assume the duties of managing director, holds 31,830,406 ordinary shares in the group.
As of press time, 6:15 AM (UTC), Aug. 31, Chobe’s shares were worth BWP7.40 ($0.661) per share, nearly seven-percent lower than its opening price of BWP7.95 ($0.710) for the month.
Since April 30, the group’s shares have declined from BWP9.20 ($0.821) to BWP7.40 ($0.661) on Aug. 31, accruing a loss of 20 percent for shareholders in 123-days.
The 20-percent loss follows a sell-off on the Botswana Stock Exchange, as investors reacted swiftly to a loss of BWP67.9 million ($6.1 million), which the group posted at the end of its 2021 financial year.
The double-digit loss in the group’s share price led to a BWP21-million ($5.1 million) loss in the value of Gibson’s stake in 123 days as shares plunged to a five-year low on the Botswana bourse.
Chobe shares soared to an all-time high of BWP11.50 ($1.027) on March 30, 2020.
Since March 30, 2020, the group’s shares have lost more than one-third of their value, as investors sold off stakes owing to emanating risk and growing uncertainty on asset prices spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The sell-off was also intensified by the continuing impact of COVID-19 on the tourism industry worldwide and the operation of the group’s subsidiaries.
The disruption occasioned by the pandemic forced Chobe to draw into a pre-arranged overdraft facility of BWP25 million ($2.2 million) to the extent of BWP11.6 million ($1 million), following a loss of BWP67.9 million ($6.1 million) that it recorded from its operations.