‘Govt Borrowing Remains Below Statutory Limit’- BoB

  • Domestic borrowing and guarantees amounted to P24.7 billion (10.8% of GDP) in June 2022, substantially below statutory domestic borrowing limit of 20%
  • External debt is estimated at 10.1% of GDP in the same period, which is also below
    the 20% threshold for Botswana

GAZETTE REPORTER

Government debt and guarantees increased to P40.9 billion in June 2022 from P34.6 billion in June 2021 (estimated at 20.9 percent of GDP in June 2022 compared to 20.8 percent of GDP in June 2021), this publication has established.

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According to a report released by the Bank of Botswana (BoB) recently, total domestic borrowing and guarantees amounted to P24.7 billion (10.8 percent of GDP) in June 2022, substantially below the statutory domestic borrowing limit of 20 percent.

External debt
“External debt is estimated at 10.1 percent of GDP in the same period, which is also below the 20 percent threshold for Botswana,” reads the report.
Titled Financial Stability Report (FSR) of October 2022, the report was prepared by BoB in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance (MoF), the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA), the Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA) and the Botswana Stock Exchange Limited (BSEL).

It was approved for publication by the Financial Stability Council (FSC), a multi-agency body launched in 2019 to collaborate and exchange information on financial stability issues affecting Botswana’s financial system.

COVID-19 impact to persist
This is the report that forecasts that the fiscal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt until the 2022/2023 fiscal year.

“During the second half of 2021, Government secured a USD250 million (P2.8 billion) loan under the Programmatic Economic Resilience and Green Recovery Development Policy Loan, at the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), for financing of economic recovery,” it says.

The report notes that the country’s long-term borrowing costs are likely to be positively affected by Botswana’s affirmed sovereign credit rating for long and short term foreign and local currency sovereign credit at “BBB+/A-2” and the stable outlook.

Potential redemption in diamonds
“The ratings were conferred by S&P Global Ratings (S&P) on September 16, 2022,” it says. “The ‘stable’ outlook is on the backdrop of expectation that the demand for Botswana’s diamonds will remain strong against downside risks presented by the weakening global economic activity.”

Additionally, the report shows that the investment grade BBB+ and A-2 credit ratings are underpinned by the country’s robust institutional frameworks (compared with that of regional peers).

The framework supported the prudent management of the country’s natural wealth; strong monetary policy framework; proactive and independent central bank; and strong mineral revenues that will support broadly balanced fiscal outcomes; all of which support durable macroeconomic stability.