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BSE braces for listings conference



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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Matambo calls on financial sector to pick GDP



Finance Minister, kenneth Matambo

Finance Minister Kenneth Matambo has announced that government is committed to support financial service sector to prop up the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Currently contributing over 13 percent to GDP, Matambo said the sector has potential to increase its share. “Hence government’s interest in the sector,” said Matambo addressing delegates at the inaugural Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL), Global Financial Summit.

The country has built a strong, resilient and fast growing financial sector underpinned by a robust regulatory framework. The finance minister who is expected to step down next year, noted that government’s commitment to the financial service sector has this year been buttressed by a number of laws passed in July relating to money laundering activities.

In addition, Matambo said the continued investment in the development of information, communication and technologies (ICTs) backbone infrastructure is also to support local banks’ rising appetite for online services.

The Minister said the country remains committed to maintaining micro-economic stability to spur private sector participation in the economy. “Our vision is to become a high income country by 2036,” said Matambo, challenging the private sector to step forward and help government to develop the country, bemoaning the low levels of financial inclusion and shallow domestic capital markets.

He said the private sector should come up with more initiatives to develop further the local capital markets. The Minister’s sentiments were also shared by Martin Davies, Managing Director for Emerging Markets and Africa at Deloitte who has challenged the country to start dealing with its low manufacturing value add.

“How do we start to diversify beyond the single commodity economy,” quizzed Davies, adding that manufacturing increase is vital for low inequality across the country.

“Inequality results in bad public policy, as the state starts to believe and think they have to intervene more,” said Davies, highlighting that the country needs to move away from the absolute concept of state drive growth. Meanwhile, minister Matambo has applauded the private sector for leading economic dialogue in the country through events such as the BIHL Global Finance Summit.

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First Lady advises women entrepreneurs

Keikantse Lesemela



First lady, Neo Masisi

First Lady, Neo Masisi has urged women entrepreneurs to bring change in the economic development of the country and the rest of Africa.

Speaking during the Lioness Lean in Africa breakfast on Friday, Masisi said women entrepreneurs are remarkable engines of economic growth and job creation. “I believe women entrepreneurs hold incredible potential and credentials on the continent because Africa has the highest percentage of women entrepreneurs in the world.

It is projected that millions of much needed jobs will be created over the next decade and these will be created predominantly through small businesses which are mostly run by women,” said Masisi.She highlighted that women entrepreneurs are also the most powerful engine for equitably distributing growth and they are also solutions for addressing inequality on the continent.

“It is a proven fact that for many generations, women understand the simple concept of barter and commerce. These are the role models of our past and our present and they will continue to inspire new generations to do more for business to grow,” she said.

The Lioness Lean In Breakfast Series brings together inspirational and successful women entrepreneurs to share, inspire and connect with the next generation of great women-led start-ups.

The platform is based on a breakfast networking and speaker presentation format, which has been organized in locations across the African continent for the past year by Lionesses of Africa, empowering over one million women entrepreneurs across the continent.

Stanbic Bank Botswana Head of Personal Markets, Omphemetse Dube said they are pleased to bring the Lionesses of Africa Lean In platform to Botswana once again to bring together women entrepreneurs in the country and help to nurture their growth further.

“Botswana is blessed with a number of thriving female entrepreneurs, and the potential for the next generation of talent is strong. Platforms such as this are therefore paramount in growing the cause and we as a bank are proud to help champion that movement further,” said Dube.

Founder and CEO of Lionesses of Africa,Melanie Hawken noted that Gaborone is a growing and exciting centre for women’s entrepreneurship in Africa. “This is a must-attend event for women entrepreneurs in the country as it gives them the opportunity to hear the inspiring entrepreneurial stories of women who are building great businesses here,” she said.

The annual Lionesses of Africa event allows entrepreneurs to benefit from the insights and advice of women entrepreneurs who have seen and experienced it all and to also provide an excellent opportunity for networking.

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