Government to cede control of Botswana Stock Exchange

26 Jun 2019

The Botswana Stock Exchange stocks are ready to be listed in the next two years as the government expected to cede control to private investors according to CEO, Thapelo Tsheole. The institution is currently 80% owned by the state and four other brokers hold the remaining 20%. 

Tsheole said how the Botswana Stock Exchange has 34 traded companies and 49 bonds and is looking to have a more diverse group of stockholders - ‘We want a diverse shareholding, reducing government to far much less than 50%.’ With a listing made possible, the CEO showed how the exchange had demutualised to improve its governance and transparency. This would also help the Botswana government to have the financial-services industry not depend on diamond mining and wildlife. 

The Botswana Stock Exchange was established in 1989 and operated an over-the-counter trade at first. It is now seeking to get more international companies active in Botswana. Moreover, it is also looking to make a better use of the estimated sum of $8-billion of pension and private-sector funds available in Botswana. 

It is planned to have 45 companies listed by 2021 and 50 bonds, Tsheole said. Reflecting on this, he added that reaching the bond target is likely to happen, but the company may act to be ‘tough’. Listings require companies to increase the free float to 30% from 20%. 

Global depository receipts are being considered to form part of the exchange’s products.