We have extracted the Chairman’s Statement from the 2019 half year financial report for Standard Chartered Bank Botswana Limited (STANCH.bw), listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange:
Global economic growth has remained somewhat sluggish, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) re-forecasting the 2019 growth rate down to 3.2%, although expecting an improved 3.5% in 2020. Euro-area headline inflation fell to 1.1% in July from 1.3% in June. This reflected lower price gains for energy and reduced services inflation, which fell to 1.2% from 1.6%. China Lending Prime Rate reduced to 4.25%, still above the 3.91% minimum that banks offer to clients, suggesting a sustained downwards trend in the near term. Downside risks to forecasts are quite pronounced; Brexit uncertainties persist while trends in energy prices carries substantial uncertainty. Pockets of geopolitical tensions will remain a pain point.
IMF forecasts a 3.5% economic growth in sub-Sahara for 2019, reflecting an improvement over the 3% recorded in 2018. There is an expectation of a generalised recovery which will see growth