Adding to the list

Baitshepi Sekgweng
BSE: The local bourse last listed a company in 2018

With no new listings on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) in almost five years – BancABC (now Access Bank) was the last to join in 2018 – the local bourse is on the lookout for new blood.

Desperate to end the drought, the BSE, which currently has 31 companies listed, are targeting a further four listings by the end of the year.

Chatting to Voice Money recently, BSE CEO, Thapelo Tsheole confirmed they hope to be up to 35 listed entities come December, and are aiming for 42, both local and foreign, by 2026

Insisting it was not all bad, Tsheole revealed that while there have been no new equity listings in recent years, there have been tangible attempts by potential issuers to come on board.

“We have a listings framework that tracks over 15 companies at this point that have expressed interest to list. These companies are at different stages of the listings process. Some have been through our Tshipidi Mentorship Programme, and some are much more mature companies that already are conversant with the importance and process of listing,” shared Tsheole, adding BSE are working hard to convince companies to list.

To help achieve this, they have established a listings framework, which is managed by a task force and promotes the listings value proposition, identifies and educates potential issuers and recommends reforms to promote capital raising on the BSE.

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Another notable initiative is the Listings Requirements Refresher workshops, which run twice a year and refresh the market on the BSE listings requirements and induct officers within listed companies or potential issuers.

Further, the BSE continuously collaborates with intermediaries to promote education to potential issuers and hold discussions that uncover impediments to listings.

“There is a myriad of reasons that companies consider in deciding to list on the stock exchange. Some of the key concerns that are attributable to the low rate of listings include fear of loss of control of the company and the increased scrutiny of the company including its financial performance. These kind of concerns mainly arise because of inadequate awareness and knowledge about the value of being a listed company versus being a private company,” explained Tsheole, indicating BSE have ramped up awareness to allay such fears.

“We continue to implement various strategies to attract companies to list and we have prospects in the listings pipelines that we expect to see in the foreseeable future. Generally, listings are difficult to come by, especially in African markets.

Of late we are seeing a concerning trend of delistings in some of the major stock exchanges in Africa, and a few listings to compensate for such a trend,” admitted Tsheole, adding the most recent delisting at the BSE was by Cloud Atlas Limited in January.

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