Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) is in discussion with 43 local companies which are expected to start listing on the local bourse soon, according to BSE CEO Thapelo Tsheole.
Tsheole last week told journalists that there is progress in convincing owners of the undisclosed local companies to list in the stock market. The companies are among Botswana’s biggest entities with the potential to grow further via listing but have been slow in listing due to lack of education. “We are having meetings with the companies and there is progress in convincing them to list. Soon you will see some of the companies with their shares listed,” said the CEO.
He indicated that it was difficult to convince the companies to list immediately because their owners have limited financial literacy and are on a learning curve regarding listing. “It’s difficult to convince ordinary Motswana to share their company with others through listing, especially in a country where basic financial literacy is low. In other countries, all big companies are listed but in Botswana big mature companies with a potential to grow through listing have been slow in listing due to lack of education,” he said.
Tsheole stated that in its bid to improve education and to encourage listing, BSE has initiated the annual listing conference which is intended to attract the business community and bring together private companies with the potential to list, listed companies and experts in capital markets to discuss the value added to a private company by a listing in a stock exchange, the listing process and listing requirements. He advised companies to consider listing before they get a loan saying listing would ensure that companies access capital for expansion and ensure that 70 percent of capital which is exported is invested locally.
Botswana Insurance Holding Limited (BIHL), one of the oldest companies with a long history at BSE has encouraged local companies to list. Its Communications and Marketing Manager Tebogo Keepetsoe indicated that opportunities include access to large-scale fundraising and opportunity to grow business without debt. “Listing makes a company to be more attractive because listing tells regulators, potential investors and the public that you are kind of a brand worth associating with. It tells them that you are willing to run your business in a transparent manner and says something about your credibility,” she said.
Currently, there are 34 listed entities and 24 of them are local companies.