MASERU – Basotho business owners who are customers of Maluti Mountain Brewery can now get loans from Lesotho Post Bank ranging from M5 000 to M5 million to grow their businesses.
Maluti Mountain Brewery and Lesotho Post Bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to avail loans for Maluti Mountain Brewery customers that meet the bank’s qualifying criteria at concessionary rates to mitigate their businesses’ demand for stock.
Lesotho Post Bank Head of Business Banking, Khauhelo Ramakongoana said there is a belief that Basotho owned companies do not succeed and fail to compete effectively with their foreign counterparts because of financial constraints, therefore the two companies collaborated to meet the business community half-way with financial assistance.
Ramakongoana said, together with Maluti Mountain Brewery, they studied the challenges that Basotho businesses face in their line of work and discovered capital was on top of the list as it restricts them from buying enough stock that will last them for the weekend, the period during which alcohol retail peaks.
He said after the findings, they decided to assist Maluti Mountain Brewery customers to secure loans in two categories; one being the one that they can take to buy stock for the weekend and pay back on Monday of the following week without any interest or they can take a loan on an annual agreement with interest charges below the standard bank rates.
“We always advise business owners to take money that they need at the time to buy stock that will sustain them maybe for the weekend and pay back the money the first day of the following week. In doing so, the customer gets to pay the money without interest charges and as a result they get to keep all the profit.
“However, we still have an arrangement where they can pay the money within a year at interest rates lower than the bank rates,” Ramakongoana said.
He noted so far the Bank has disbursed up to M5 million to assist Maluti Mountain Brewery customers to grow their businesses and aim to assist at least 3 000 Basotho owned businesses which buy liquor for retail from Maluti Mountain Brewery by the end of the year.
He said all the bank needs is assurance of sustainability of the business and a valid Lesotho Post Bank’s account.
Lesotho Post Bank Managing Director Molefi Leqhaoe said the agreement between the two companies is very important as it will help local business to succeed, create employment and promote the country’s economic growth.
Financial education, he added, is also of importance to the customers that will be given loans so that they can spend and manage their money wisely. Ramakongoana said now that they have partnered with Maluti Mountain Brewery, they will go on outreaches together to teach people about financial management and responsible drinking.
Maluti Mountain Brewery Performance and Planning Manager Mapete Ntjana said signing the memorandum is aligned with their dream and corporate social responsibility initiatives.
She added Maluti Mountain Brewery seeks to grow the country’s economy througgh supporting local businesses.
Ntjana also said the agreement came after they discovered that their customers’ business fail to compete with foreign players because they can do not have access to loans from banks to boost their stock.
She said Maluti Mountain Brewery and Lesotho Post Bank will not benefit much from the agreement but Basotho will benefit the most as they will no longer run out of stock.