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Letlole La Rona buys Watershed Piazza Mall

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Competition Authority has approved the acquisition of Watershed Piazza Mall in Mahalapye for P149 million by public property investment company, Letlole La Rona (LLR). Acting Chief Executive of the Competition Authority, Magdeline Gabaraane said the proposed transaction is not likely to result in the prevention or substantial lessening of competition, or endanger the continuity of the services offered in the market. “Furthermore, no public interest concerns have been identified. Pursuant to the provisions of section 60 of the Competition Act, the Authority has approved the acquisition by Letlole La Rona Limited of the Watershed Piazza Shopping Mall, together with underlying leases and the right to collect rental, from its current owner, Jus Posh Investments (Pty) Ltd,” said Gabaraane in a statement.

The acquisition comes after the Competition Authority approved the purchase of Watershed Piazza mall by New African Properties (NAP) in November last year. However, the Authority stated that it is aware of a case that is before the courts relating to a shareholder dispute on the ownership of the Watershed Piazza Shopping Mall whose outcome might have a bearing on the decision of the Authority in the current transaction, and will therefore be followed closely. “The Authority therefore draws the parties’ attention to the right it has under section 62(1)(a) of the Act to revoke a merger approval if the grounds for revocation stipulated therein exist.

As stated under section 66 of the Act, this approval does not override or negate any other mandatory statutory approvals or processes that any of the parties to this merger must comply with under the Laws of Botswana,” reads the statement. Watershed Piazza Mall was owned by Jus Posh, a private company which is not in the business of long-term property investment. The company developed the property with the intention of selling it to an appropriate investor. Jus Posh is wholly owned by Seloma Tiro, a Motswana. The Authority has also unconditionally approved the proposed acquisition by Letlole La Rona Limited of Lot 64260, Block 3 Industrial Site together with all land, buildings and improvements from Top Light Investments (Pty) Ltd.

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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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