Monthly Archives

April 2021

BSE Seeks To Increase Liquidity and Reverse Trend of Delistings

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Botswana’s stock exchange plans to introduce global depositary receipts (GDRs) and trading in short-term debt instruments to attract issuers and increase the market’s liquidity, CEO Thapelo Tsheole tells The Africa Report.

International companies want to be able to sell shares in Botswana, Tsheole says from Gaborone. GDRs, which are designed to let investors buy shares of foreign companies on their own domestic exchanges, will be available by mid-2022, he says, and it will be possible to trade short-term debt instruments by the end of this year.

The exchange has come under pressure from Botswana’s finance ministry, its majority owner, to accelerate new listings and halt the trend of companies leaving the bourse. Finance ministry permanent secretary Wilfred Mandlebe said in February that it was up to the exchange to ensure there was a “balance between the costs and benefits of listing”.

  • The market must reduce the time needed to settle share transactions, he adds.
  • Mandlebe points to the need for integrated depository to facilitate corporate and government bond trading. Government bonds are currently traded over the counter.

The Botswana market lags behind Namibia as well as South Africa in terms of capitalisation. Liquidity has become concentrated in a handful of companies.

  • In 2020, the shares of microfinance lender LetshegoFirst National Bank Botswana and brewery holding company Sechaba accounted for 47% of total equity turnover.
  • The concentration is getting worse. In January and February of this year, trading in those three companies made up 70% of turnover. Furnmart and Wilderness Safaris both delisted in 2019, and Afinitas shares will cease trading this month.

Paperless trades

Tsheole expects the new securities to increase the liquidity of the market, as happened in 2012 when Botswana introduced exchange-traded funds. Botswana, he argues, can benefit from its strong currency and the absence of foreign-exchange controls.

  • The exchange has a “strong pipeline” of new domestic equity listings including multinationals as well as local companies, Tsheole says.
  • The bourse is planning to make it easier to borrow and lend shares to facilitate short selling, he says.
  • The innovations will be made possible by a new central security depository system, designed to end reliance on paper certificates and scheduled to be in place by May.
  • Tsheole is also trying to persuade institutions to come and serve as market makers.
  • The exchange, which completed its demutualisation in 2018, plans its own stock market listing in Botswana within the next two years, Tsheole says.

Contact the BSE via email at or call +267 3674400

CoSSE Holds 58th Bi-Annual Meeting, Virtually

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12 April 2021: The CoSSE Secretariat hosted the 58th Bi-Annual meeting for CoSSE members and observers, on the 8th of April 2021, chaired by the Chairman of CoSSE, and CEO of the BSE, Mr Thapelo Tsheole. This is the Committee’s second meeting to be held virtually since the COVID-19 outbreak.

On the agenda for this meeting were several discussion points germane to the progressive development of the capital markets of the SADC region, chief among them being funding commitments for projects focused on enhancing financial integration and developing the regional green bond market. Presentations were made by FSD Africa principals on the roadmap of the SADC Green Bond Programme partnership between CoSSE and FSD Africa, previously announced on the 11th of March 2021. Deliberations also concentrated on the implementation of the Support to Improving the Investment and Business Environment (SIBE) Programme spearheaded by the SADC Secretariat in conjunction with the European Union (EU). Progress updates of other associated SADC Sub-Structures pertaining to capital market issues were discussed, including Financial Inclusion, Cross-Border Trade between SADC Stock Exchanges and the IOSCO Objectives and Principles of Securities Regulation.

Mr. Tsheole noted the full attendance of CoSSE members at the virtual 58th CoSSE meeting as a clear demonstration of their commitment towards the development of the regional capital market. In his closing remarks, the Vice-Chairperson Mr. John Kamanga reiterated the importance of multilateral cooperation for the betterment of the SADC region and the African Continent as a whole, and urged all attendees to continue to adhere to their respective COVID-19 health protocols.