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Successful listing boosts BancABC morale

Keikantse Lesemela

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BancABC Botswana Managing Director, Kgotso Bannalotlhe sees the stock market as a growth opportunity for companies and has said his bank’s listing on Botswana Stock Exchange is in line with the bank’s strategic focus of consolidating the market position.

He was speaking during the bank’s listing ceremony on Botswana Stock Exchange on Friday. Bannalotlhe said they see Botswana as a home and core market for the parent company, ABC Holdings.
“Access to capital markets is an important consideration for growing companies as it gives them more room to raise capital and access to investors,” he said.

The bank is the fourth profitable and the fifth largest bank by assets in Botswana. “The listing on the BSE has helped raise further support and achieving our goal of being the bank of choice for individuals, corporate and public sector in Botswana by offering technology and innovative products,” The bank has raised about P300 million from the ordinary share offer and the larger portion of the money will be used in developing core banking software and banking channel upgrades to support growth and improve operational efficiencies across the ABC Holdings Group.

Bannalotlhe said as a bank, they have a long-term vision of the country, suggesting they view the record low rates as a cycle, which will eventually end. The bank is expected to open more branches in the country next year, effectively increasing the bank’s more than 300 employees. BancABC has operations in Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe and a group services office in South Africa.

Formed in Zimbabwe in 2000, ABC Holdings is a registered company in Botswana with its primary listing on the BSE. The Group’s shareholders include Old Mutual, Botswana Insurance Fund and the International Finance Corporation. Bob Diamond and Ashish Thakkar, a Ugandan businessman – who founded Atlas Mara – are buying banking properties across the continent, which they say offer massive investment opportunities.

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BSE upgrades online investor access

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A recent BSE opening bell function.

Botswana Stock Exchange Limited (BSEL) will this year introduce a new clearing and settlement system, as part of efforts to improve operations of the bourse.

Speaking at the seventh opening bell ceremony, Chief Executive Officer, Thapelo Tsheole said the development will help improve liquidity and risk management. In addition, the new settlement system replaces the 2008 system while fast tracking introduction of security borrowing and lending, management settlement guarantee fund, as well as identifiers for companies and instrument.

BSEL has already awarded a contract to a Swedish company to implement the system which is also expected to digitalize Initial Public Offering (IPO), allow electronic voting for listed companies during annual general meetings (AGM) for absent shareholders.

The project, which is expected to take eight months once the two parties sign the deal, is part of efforts to have more online investors access for BSEL. Tsheole also revealed that BSEL website will undergo a revamp this year, allowing it to be more analytic, live feed shares, as they trade.“The tender is already out for the website and mobile application. It is a project that we had hoped to implement last year but because of logistic problems, we could not do it,” said Tsheole.

BSEL further plans to introduce two data display screens at CBD and at the stock exchange.“These will assist with information sharing and keep the market updated,” said Tsheole. Meanwhile, BSEL will not change its Automated Trading System (ATS) until 2022, according to Tsheole.“The system supports our strategy to grow the market and increase the average daily turnover levels to 18.0million per day by 2021,” said Tsheole.

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BSE complies with reporting guidelines

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Botswana Stock Exchange Limited (BSEL) has become the 5th bourse in Africa to comply and publish Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting guidelines.

The development comes a year after BSEL became a partner exchange of the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchange (SSE) Initiative.“The BSE made a commitment to publish guidance on ESG Reporting. This commitment has been fulfilled.“

We are the 42nd among the 81 SSE Partner Exchanges globally and the 5th in Africa to do this,” said Kgotla Segwe, Market Development Specialist at Botswana Stock Exchange Limited.
Other stock exchanges that have complied with the SSE initiative on the continent are from South Africa, Nigeria, Morocco and Egypt.

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