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Sefalana opens new store in Mogoditshane

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…More expected before the year-ends

Former Vice President, Ponatshego Kedikilwe has urged members of the community to take advantage of the local investment opportunities to contribute to economic development and eradicate poverty. Officially opening the 54th Sefalana Shopper store in Mogoditshane, Kedikilwe said currently economic conditions are not pleasing but people can always find a way out of financial turmoil.

He said there are lot of opportunities in Botswana that Batswana can take advantage of to relieve themselves from poverty. “I urge all Batswana, especially the youth and those on the government schemes to take advantage of opportunities. You can collaborate and buy shares in some of the big enterprises like Sefalana and earn a living. This is what entrepreneurship is all about,” said Kedikilwe.

He said Sefalana is a public company listed on Botswana Stock Exchange. Its shareholders include the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (42 percent), Debswana Pension Fund (7 Percent) and Motor Vehicle Accident Fund at 12 percent. “Despite tough economic conditions Sefalana is working hard to create employment and relieve Batswana out of poverty.

This company is run by devoted people who ensure that it is profitable,” said Kedikilwe. Sefalana has operations in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Lesotho. In its year ended April 2017, the group recorded 16 percent decline in profit to P173 million due to depressed economic conditions, which resulted in low consumer confidence.

Sefalana Group Managing Director, Chandra Chauhan said the group has attempted to diversify the businesses by introducing other products and services into the stores by focusing on the entire supply chain to extract efficiencies and through continued focus on expansion into the region. “We have taken a conservative approach to new store openings in Botswana as we did not see this year as the right time to increase our overhead base when consumer spending has fallen,” he said. The group is set to open two more shops in Botswana this year, one in Tlokweng and a Cash and Carry in Mogoditshane.

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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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