Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Thapelo Tsheole, has made a call for the companies to list their shares on the stock exchange.
Speaking on Thursday during Afena Capital press club meeting, Tsheole said there are many benefits to listing companies on the stock exchange, explaining that it does not necessarily mean that the company has to be an established one to float its shares. He said even start-up companies are welcome to list; giving an example of the recently listed Afinitas as listing is possible.
Tsheole said many companies are reluctant to list for fear of losing ownership of their companies while there are more benefits than just than ownership. He advised that when companies list, it does not mean one will lose ownership but should look at the bigger picture.The BSE currently has 35 listed companies under nine different sectors. Tsheole said companies should consider listing or else they will remain in the small company bracket for a considerable time. He said the likes of Choppies and Sefalana have been able to grow because of listing and enabling them to penetrate bigger markets.
“The only time people will come to us to enquire about listing is when financial results of the quoted companies are released and people would want to know how listing has assisted in achieving such results,” he said.In an effort to sensitise the public about the importance listing companies, Tsheole said there are trying to reach out to the masses through platforms such as agricultural shows and many other forums like road shows, reaching to the even remote areas to spread the word.
The BSE has in addition to the listed companies, listed 37 bonds belonging to the government and corporate sector. However the bonds which have grown from P2.5 billion to over P10.6 billion in the past 10 years are faced with challenges such as lack of a robust risk free curve, infrequent issuance of government bonds, pricing issues, lack of benchmark bond index and lack of fair values among others. Tsheole said, however, the bond market activity improved twofold in 2015 although sales were solely on account of government bonds.
With regards to infrequent issuance of bonds, he said the issue has been taken up with the government and now there are quarterly auctions although hardly any new bonds are issued with most of them being tap issuances.