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Shoppers store to exit Station Market

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Sefalana Group is planning to relocate Shoppers store from Station Market where it is struggling to make profits, says Managing Director, Chandra Chauhan.

Speaking to the Business Trends, Chauhan said the retail sector has recorded 12 percent growth but some of the shops are struggling. “Although we have this growth, our Shoppers store at the Station Mall is struggling and we are planning to exit that market,” said Chauhan.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the company’s recent announcement of its interim results to October 2015.  He explained that they will not close the shop but they will relocate it to another place. The shop is not making profit but it is breaking even therefore struggling to pay rent.

“We are not making a loss as such but we are breaking even. This is going to become a loss because the rental is expensive. The location of the shop is not in a good place for consumers because most people are now shopping in Rail Park Mall,” said Chauhan.

Chauhan said the retail division is gaining traction in the Botswana market as the number of stores increases an awareness of house brands. Turnover amounted to over P1.2 billion which was 13 percent up on the same period last year and profit before tax amounted to P46, 3 million which was 28 percent up on the prior period. 

Sefalana cash and carry Limited contributed 66 percent and 58 percent of the Group’s revenue and profit before tax for the reporting period. During the period the group opened Shoppers Supermarkets in Mogoditshane and Hukuntsi bringing the current retail outlets to 22 and a total number of Sefalana stores across Botswana to 50.

In November 2015 the group launched Botswana’s first online shopping site, which Chauhan said is receiving positive feedback from customers. “We are pleased to be leaders in the market with this initiative and although still in its infancy, we are receiving a lot of positive feedback from our customers. We are excited about this channel and look forward to seeing this grow as we enter into 2016 and our customer base becomes more sophisticated,” said Chauhan.

He said they continue to seek additional suitable locations for further store openings as they are targeting 70 stores across Botswana.

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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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