Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) is aiming to bring local private companies to list on the exchange by discussing with them the value brought by listing. The BSE CEO Thapelo Tsheole announced at a press briefing that they will host the Inaugural BSE Listings Conference under the theme – Opening the BSE to the business community – Creating value through listing on March 10. Tsheole said the exchange does recognise the fact that the survival of a stock exchange is underpinned by its attractiveness towards not only investors, but also companies.
“As such, the supply side of the market, being issuers of securities, has to be consistently nurtured,” he said, explaining that this is the reason the BSE saw it fit to host such conference. Tsheole said the main objective of the conference is to open up the BSE to the business community and bring together the BSE, private companies with the potential to list, listed companies and experts in capital markets to discuss the value added to a private company by listing.
The listing conference will also provide a platform for listed companies to share their experiences on how they benefitted from listing and how they can use the listing to expand their services and product offerings to markets outside Botswana. Invited listed companies that will speak at the conference include Turnstar, Sefalana and Choppies, all of which have gone to expand into regional markets. As Botswana is a small economy in terms of consumption limited by the small size of population, Tsheole said companies listed on the BSE have demonstrated that business opportunities are not defined by geographic boundaries and have grown beyond Botswana into sub-Saharan Africa.
“They have fully explored the benefits brought by a listing as they continue to do so. And they have set tangible examples for the rest of the domestic business sector,” Tsheole said. Unlisted companies that have been invited range from small, medium and large enterprises to come and hear the experiences of listed companies. The newly appointed BSE CEO said the advantages of listing are many and outweigh the disadvantages. According to Tsheole, through the conference the BSE is creating relationships with the private sector and unlisted companies and establishing a means of educating the present and future business owners about the value of utilising the BSE to pursue growth opportunities.
Currently the BSE has 32 listed companies. The last addition came on July 2015 when Afinitas listed on the exchange under the Venture Capital Markets. Afinitas’ listing came more than three years since the last listing of another company being Choppies which listed in January 2012. Another addition to the exchange is expected soon with the listing of BTCL sometime in April. The company is currently engaged in the Initial Public Offering (IPO) phase.