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Over 15 000 Batswana buy BTCL shares

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Over 15 000 Batswana and 600 of the 900 employees of Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited have already bought the Company’s shares as the Initial Public Offer (IPO) winds up this week Friday.

The Company is also anticipating large numbers of Batswana to turn up at various Barclays Bank Botswana branches nationwide for the shares before Friday’s closing date.

“At no point have we had less than 500 people per day submitting offers in the branches. In our final week now we expect to see an increase and we anticipate it to get even better,” Taylor told the media last week.

Flanked by Public Enterprises Evaluation and Privatisation Agency (PEEPA) deputy chief executive Tiny Diswai-Moremi, the BTCL Chief Executive said they have worked hard to educate Batswana about the IPO.

“Educational literature has been produced in the thousands. Beyond over 30,000 prospectuses are in circulation and over 320,000 BTCL Share Application Forms printed, we have shared over 100,000 FAQs in English and Setswana, and a social media community of over 26,500 people,” said Taylor.

The offer comprises 462 000 000 shares of which 250 000 000 are to be issued and allotted by the company and 212 010 000 shares are to be sold by the selling shareholder. He said they have printed over 30 000 prospectuses in circulation, 290 000 application forms, conducted 61 public roadshows in villages and towns.

BTCL will be the first telecommunications company to be listed on Botswana Stock Exchange on April 8, 2016. “When the bell rings on 8th April at the BSE, we look forward to a new BTCL being born marking yet another important milestone for the business and indeed for Botswana. These are very exciting times ahead and we look forward to this bright new future,” said Taylor.

“It needs to be borne in mind that the Offer Period is open until the 4th of March 2016, and applications are being received until then. This means Batswana need not rush, as shares will not be distributed on a first come first served basis.”

Through the IPO government will hold a total of 49 percent of the company’s shares, 44 percent are available for purchase by citizens and citizen companies and the remaining five percent is reserved for BTCL employees through a Trust.

Taylor also explained that BTCL has about 930 employees and about 600 have applied for the shares. BTCL was converted to a registered public company limited by shares in 2012 and some of its assets were given to newly-formed Botswana Fibre Network (BoFiNet) to manage and operate on behalf of the government.

Some of the assets retained by BoFiNet include the East African Submarine System (EASSy) and the West African Cable System (WACS).

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Matambo calls on financial sector to pick GDP

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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

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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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