Letshego IPO extension request came from the public – Kali

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Edgar Brandt

Windhoek-The extended Initial Public Offering (IPO) for Letshego Namibia, which closed at noon yesterday, was granted at the request of the Namibian public who felt the initial subscription period was too short.
Letshego Namibia last week extended their IPO from September 22 to yesterday (Tuesday) and reduced the share price offer from N$4.70 to N$3.80. This meant that all individuals who applied for 20 percent of company shares available at the N$4.70 price, were awarded 23.5 percent more shares based on the reduction in share price.

“One of the most common requests we received throughout our nationwide community roadshow was an extension in the offer period, as the public at large felt they needed more time. This short extension catered to that, and we have seen lots of interest from ordinary Namibians to invest in Letshego Namibia,” said Ester Kali, CEO of Letshego Namibia.

However, Kali declined to comment on the number of shares sold, the response from the overall investor market as well as how much capital the company intended raising through the stock market listing. Instead, she noted that this information would be made available later this week.

At the time of announcing the IPO extension, Kali said, Letshego had set its own minimum targets to achieve listing objectives.

“We are progressing well towards these; however, as of today, we are not quite there yet. Extending our deadline by a few days and offering a reduced price should enable us to meet the last few hurdles towards a listing, while further enhancing the inclusive nature of our Ekwafo Letu IPO,” said Kali last week.

During the initial IPO, Kali said, millions had already been raised, with people across Namibia showing incredible appetite to invest in Letshego Namibia shares.

“This is a platform for financial inclusion, and our objective from the onset was to ensure maximum citizen participation in this great opportunity for empowerment. This is with a particular focus on previously disadvantaged Namibians. The reception by Namibians has been strong, and we look forward to welcoming a great many new shareholders in this proudly Namibian business. This is our time. This is Ekwafo Letu,” said Kali.

When Letshego first announced the floating of shares the total value of the shares offered to the public was about N$470 million.

Letshego Namibia opened its doors in 2002 as Edu-Loan Namibia, providing consumer and micro-lending services. In August 2008, Letshego Holdings Limited, a Botswana Stock Exchange-listed entity, acquired 100 percent of the company and soon after the company re-branded to Letshego Financial Services Namibia.

Currently the Botswana Stock Exchange-listed entity owns 65 percent of shares in Letshego Namibia, whilst 15 percent is retained by Kumwe Investments Holding.

The Bank of Namibia has given the foreign-owned bank until 2020 to comply with requirements that locals should hold at least 40 percent equity in commercial lenders operating in the country.

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