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BPOPF restructuring to cut spending

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Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) is in the process of restructuring to fully implement its new service offering. The Fund decided to provide in-house services, which were formerly carried out by Alexander Forbes externally.

These services include the collection of members’ contributions and administration of benefits. Briefing the press last week, BPOPF Chief Executive, Boitumelo Molefe said BPOPF is currently on a restructuring process as it is now in-sourcing all services from Alexander Forbes.

“In this year we have been very busy. We are bringing in all services from Alexander Forbes to our house. For the first time in history BPOPF will have a back office in-house,” said Molefe. The services include Benefits administration, data services, trust services, investment management services and financial services.

The system is expected to be complete by October next year. Molefe explained that through the process the fund has to restructure to enable it to deliver the new services. She said the restructuring of the fund was approved by the board in November 2015 and has resulted in the new organisational structure and a five-year human resource strategy.

The insourcing system is expected to save the fund 70 percent of the cost of outsourcing payment services of its 153 000 members. “The recruitment for the new structure has commenced and is likely to be complete in the first quarter of 2016.

For the first time in its history, the fund is now geared towards a culture of service provision and development,” said Molefe.Through the new strategy, the fund will experience regular audits by Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA). “2016 is also likely to be the year when the new Retirements Funds Act comes into play, which will increase the need for greater regulation,” said Molefe.

Molefe also said they have already rolled out a new IT system to manage data for the members.

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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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