Home » Botswana tycoon Ramachandran Ottapathu loses $4.1 million from stake in Choppies Enterprises

Botswana tycoon Ramachandran Ottapathu loses $4.1 million from stake in Choppies Enterprises

by Omokolade Ajayi

The year-to-date loss in Choppies Enterprises’ shares, a Botswana-based supermarket chain led by Ramachandran Ottapathu, has resulted in a $17-million drop in the firm’s market value, as investors sell off stakes in the firm despite the company revealing that its profit would exceed expectations in the first six months ending Dec. 31, 2021.

Since the start of 2022, the bearish sentiment on the local exchange has resulted in a BWP47.45-million ($4.12 million) loss for Ottapathu, who owns a significant stake in the supermarket chain.

The Botswana businessman, who co-founded the country’s leading supermarket with his long-term business partner, Farouk Ismail, owns a controlling 24.48-percent stake in Choppies, totaling 316,353,058 ordinary shares.

The $4.12-million decrease in his stake pushed the value of his holding well below the $20-million mark in recent times, as investors sold off stakes in the company in an effort to reduce risk exposure in their portfolio.

Research conducted by Billionaires.Africa revealed that his stake has dropped from BWP243.6 million ($21.16 million) at the start of the year to BWP196.14 million ($17.03 million) at the time of writing.

The decrease in his stake can be directly attributed to a 19.5-percent drop in Choppies’ share price from BWP0.77 ($0.067) per share at the start of trading this year to BWP0.62 ($0.054) at the time of writing this report.

Despite the impact of the loss on the value of his holding and his net worth, Ottapathu remains one of the richest investors on the Botswana Stock Exchange, as well as one of the country’s wealthiest businessmen.

Choppies reported its first profit since 2016 at the end of its 2021 fiscal year, with earnings exceeding BWP59 million ($5 million).

The holding’s bottom line improved by 116.1 percent during the period under review, from a loss of BWP370.6 million ($32.4 million) reported last year to BWP59.6 million ($5.2 million) during the period under review.

It recently revealed that it expects profit to exceed expectations in the first six months of its 2022 fiscal year, which ends on Dec. 31, 2021.

The retailer revealed in its trading update on Mon., Feb. 14, that its profit after tax is expected to increase by 174 to 194 percent, or BWP104 million ($9 million) to BWP112 million ($9.7 million), up from BWP38 million ($3.3 million) at the same time last year.

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