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BSE braces for listings conference

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Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) has unveiled four main sponsors for this year’s Listings Conference that is scheduled for March 8. The four are; Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL), Choppies, Monthe Marumo Attorneys and Rantao and Kewagamang Associates. Chief Executive Officer, Thapelo Tsheole said ahead of the March conference that they are working hard to raise awareness about the stock market in order to attract companies to the bourse.

According to Tsheole, the aim of the conference is to open up the BSE to the business community and bring together under one roof, all stakeholders, public and private companies with the potential to list on the BSE, listed companies and experts in capital markets to discuss among others; the importance of listing, listing processes and requirements. Among the topics that will be discussed at this year’s conference are; listing family-run businesses, crypto currencies, listing innovative products and the World Federation of Exchanges that BSE subscribes to will be represented. Tsheole said through the conference they are creating relationships with the private and unlisted companies and establishing a means of educating the present and future business owners about the value of utilising the BSE to pursue growth opportunities.

“We want to attract more companies to list because through listing they do not only raise capital for themselves but they contribute to economic diversification and development,” said Tsheole. He said last year BSE has seen three new companies listing including Minergy, CA Sales and Tlou Energy. According to him, since 2016 the BSE has been working with a few companies with the hope that they would list. “We will begin to see results of these engagements this year and next,” he said. Among exciting developments that the BSE is embarking on this year and going forward, is to install a statue of a stock market bull in their premises and a ticker that show prices as stocks trade.

All this as part of sensitising the public about the stock exchange. The first listing conference held in 2016 attracted 150 companies and last year attracted about 400 companies. Tsheole said the conference is part of the BSE strategy to raise capital and increase turnover. The BSE market performance report for 2017 shows that BSE realised a turnover of about P2.4 million which is a slight decrease from P2.5 million raised in 2016. The average daily turnover for 2017 amounted to P10 million compared to P10.2 million in 2016. Tsheole said the bond market activity improved in 2017 compared to 2016 as the value of bonds traded increased from P483.8 million in 2016 to P535.6 million in 2017. BIHL Chief Executive, Cathrine Lesetedi said listing on the BSE is one of the platforms to diversify the economy and it also enables the companies to exercise good corporate governance.

“Listing encourages good corporate governance with high standards of reporting and transparency,” she said. Lesetedi also highlighted that BIHL has benefited a lot from listing, as it is currently the second largest company by market cap on the BSE. She added that corporate governance at company or country level is critical as it can mean the difference between failure and success.

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SMEs benefit from Consumer Fair growth

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The Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) has applauded Botswana Consumer Fair’s continued efforts to improve small to medium enterprises’ linkages.

BITC Chief Executive Officer, Keletsositse Olebile, when opening the fair, said the event has provided interactive forum for both local and foreign exhibitors. He said the shopping show has enabled manufacturers, wholesalers and traders to market their products directly to consumers, an alignment to government’s endeavors.

“As part of government intention, we continually encourage local sourcing by retailers and distributors,” said Olebile who is just few months into his new post. He further celebrated the growth of Botswana Consumer Fair over the years, attributing the expansion to quality of goods displayed at the previous shows.“Improved quality and increased variety of wares increases the interest of the visitors and makes them look forward to returning the following year,” said Olebile.

This year’s exhibitors at the 13th event still running under the banner: ‘It is more than just shopping’ have been drawn from Lesotho, Zambia, Swaziland, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Egypt, Japan, India, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

Consumer Fair is a flagship event for Fairgrounds Holdings and provides a platform for small medium enterprises (SMEs) from the different sectors of the economy to showcase and promote their products and services. In addition, the SMEs are expected to establish long term business linkages and promote local manufactured goods.Fairgrounds Holdings is already optimistic that the Fair immensely contribute to the socio-economic development of the country through supporting SMEs.

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‘Involve SMMEs in standards development’-Minister

Keikantse Lesemela

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Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Bogolo Kenewendo appealed to Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) to include the Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) when developing the standards to improve the sector.

She said the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry has identified three areas of focus going forward which are modeled on SMME development, investment promotion and export development apexes. “I would like to implore you to include this sector in standards development processes and assist in improving SMMEs conformity to standards and compliance to technical regulations,” said Kenewendo.

Speaking during the BOBS Technical Committee Members appreciation ceremony on Thursday, Kenewendo explained that the important roles of standards are underpinned by the aspirations and intentions espoused in both diversified export led economic growth and job creation as priority areas. “It goes without saying that the diversification of the economy requires a National Quality Infrastructure and Technical Regulatory Framework that promote competitiveness of Botswana goods and services.”

She also emphasized that an effective National Quality Infrastructure and Technical Regulatory Framework are essential as they provide crucial links to global trade, market access and export competitiveness through their contribution to consumer confidence in product safety, quality and the environment.Since inception in 1997 BOBS has published more than 1700 standards through 48 technical committees across several sectors of the economy; 109 certification licences have been issued against some of these standards. Currently 46 Botswana Standards are being implemented through the standards regulations with a view to protecting the health and safety of consumers as well as protection of the environment.

On her note, BOBS Vice Chairperson of the Standards Council, Professor Edward Dintwa said standards are powerful tools for helping organisations that implement them to realize their potential, have access and compete in the global marketplace. “In this highly competitive and complex world, issues of sustainability and productivity, viewed from economic, environmental and societal perspectives require that businesses must be more efficient in their operations, which can be achieved through the implementation of standards”.

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