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Weak rand hurts Botswana exports

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The weakening of the South African Rand is hurting Botswana companies, Acting Business Botswana Chief Executive (CEO) Dichaba Molobe has said.

For the past eight months the SA Rand has been on a free fall against major currencies with value plunging by about 26 percent. It reached a record low of R17.9950 to a US Dollar earlier this year following a sustained decline.

On the flipside the Pula appreciated by 7 percent against the rand since the beginning of 2015. Currently one SA rand buys 0.73 Pula. Molobe said that although the local general populace was excited about the depreciation of the rand, however companies exporting to South Africa were negatively affected.

“A weak rand hurts Botswana in a way. It’s good for consumers who can go shopping in Johannesburg or go for holidays,” said Molobe. “But for our manufactures it does a lot of harm and we cannot compete with imports from South Africa.

Our exporters also cannot compete with South African manufacturers because once they export to SA their goods become expensive when they land there,” added the official. Botswana exports mostly minerals to South Africa.

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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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