- Batswana investors grown from 23 000 to 96 000 over last five years
- BSE staff about to obtain 5% shareholding
- Mandlebe reaffirms govt support for BSE
The Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) has projected a positive outlook for the year following a bad 2020 owing to the outbreak of COVID-19. This was said by BSE Chief Executive Officer, Thapelo Tsheole, during the bell opening ceremony this week.
The event, which was held under the theme “Supporting the Growth of the Financial Sector amid the COVID-19 Pandemic,” focused on the general health of the BSE. Tsheole said they intend to continue to work with government to increase financial inclusion, adding that the BSE was able to increase the number of Batswana investing in the stock market from 23 000 to 96 000 over the last five years.
“We are happy that the project we are going on together with the Bank of Bank of Botswana with the full support of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to actually make sure that all government bonds are traded in the stock market because these 96 000 investors we managed to raise in a period of four years are looking for investment,” said Tsheole.
He named privatisation of certain of the state owned entities as something the BSE is looking forward to in the hope that some of them will come to the market.
Tsheole said although they expect this year to be as challenging as last year, they are looking forward to some ripe listings, stressing that they have revised the regulatory framework to make it open to admit new brokers.
“We are in the process of restructuring the security fund to set up a settlement investor compensation fund and we are also in the process of establishing a settlement guarantee fund,” he disclosed. Tsheole
Tsheole said they are also looking forward to a virtual simulator of the actual investment portfolio so that people may get used to actual trading on the market.
It came to light during the ceremony that acquisition of 5% shareholding for BSE staff members is nearing completion, meaning that government shareholding will reduce from 81.3 to 76.3 while the rest of the shareholding will remain with the brokers.
For his part, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Dr Wilfred Mandlebe, offered the government’s full support to the BSE, adding that although these are trying times, the market must continue operating smoothly.
“The financial sector has not been spared by the distraction of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as a result we had to respond accordingly to ensure that the sector continues to provide services amid restriction of movement,” said Mandlebe.
He also noted that the financial sector has implemented a number of initiatives to support the domestic economy from the effects of COVID-19. These include the Bank of Botswana’s decision to allow commercial banks to use bonds listed on the BSE as part of the collateral pool when borrowing and reduction of the interest rate by Bank of Botswana to support economic activity.