Home » Botswana retail tycoon Ramachandran Ottapathu loses over $4.4 million since start of 2022

Botswana retail tycoon Ramachandran Ottapathu loses over $4.4 million since start of 2022

by Mfonobong Nsehe
Ramachandran Ottapathu

Botswana retail tycoon Ramachandran Ottapathu has seen the market value of his stake in Choppies Enterprises Limited fall by about BWP72.76 million ($4.42 million), as shares in the group continue to fall on the back of reduced appetite for emerging market shares.

Choppies Enterprises is Botswana’s largest retail chain, with a centralized distribution network in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Kenya. It distributes both well-known international food brands and its own private label items.

The drop in Ottapathu’s stake follows a sustained sell-off among investors as part of a move to preserve wealth and reinvest in core assets, as real yields on equities and other financial assets turn negative.

As of press time, shares in the retailing giant were trading at R0.55 ($0.0334) per share, 1.79-percent lower than their opening price on the local bourse this morning, as market participants continue to trim down stakes in the Botswana-based retail chain.

Shares in the investment holding have dropped from R0.78 ($0.0474) on Jan. 1 to R0.55 ($0.0334) on July 5, representing a 29.5-percent loss to shareholders in the past 186 days.

The market value of Ottapathu’s interest has dropped from R246.76 million ($14.99 million) at the start of the year to R174 billion ($10.57 million) at the time of writing this report as a result of the decline in Choppies’ shares.

Despite the recent drop in the market value of his stake, Ottapathu remains one of Botswana’s wealthiest businessmen, along with his long-time business partner, Farouk, who also owns a significant stake in Choppies.

Aside from Choppies, the Botswana businessman owns a significant stake in Far Property, which manages approximately 170 properties in Botswana, South Africa, and Zambia, primarily warehouses and shopping complexes, as well as retail, residential, commercial, and industrial properties for rent.

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