Four years after starting the demutualisation process, Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) is now finally a private business, owned in majority by Government.
BSE Chief Executive Officer, Thapelo Tsheole, announced to the media on Wednesday afternoon that the process is now complete and the bourse is now known as BSE Limited.
“We now follow the Companies Act in the composition of the board,” Tsheole said, adding that the board will be composed of both independent and non-independent directors. From the whole process, government emerged as the biggest shareholder, holding a massive 81.3 percent while the rest is split among stockbrokers.
Now to self-list
Following the completion of the whole process which began on the 1st of December 2015when the BSE Transition Act, No. 2 of 2015 came into effect, the BSE is now looking to engage all the stakeholders with the view of self-listing.
However, Tsheole could not provide the period in which the BSE will list, explaining that all stakeholders have to be engaged and reach a common ground.
“If it was all according to me I would say listing would take place before the end of 2019,” Tsheole said. Explaining the whole process, he said there were challenges along the way such as disagreements by shareholders but ultimately they process was a success.
“It took four years to complete the process of demutualisation,” he said. The BSE will enjoy a number of benefits from this conversion and among them as Tsheole said; they will be able to attract funding from investors.
“Now we can operate fully as a company with a clear motive and objectives,” the CEO said, adding that the ambition now is to self-list.
Demutualisation is defined as a process of transforming from a member-owned, not-for-profit entity into a for-profit, investor-owned corporation which involves changing the legal status, structure and governance of an entity.
For a stock exchange, it is the separation of the ownership of the exchange from the right to trade on the exchange.
In the case of the then BSE, the Proprietary Rights of the members of the then BSE as well as the cash injection by Government have been converted to shares in BSE Limited.
The BSE becomes one of the few stock exchanges in the whole continent that have demutualised and it is the seventh among 28 stock exchanges in the continent to have done so.
Tsheole, who was appointed the CEO in January 2016, taking over from Hiran Mendes, has presided over the whole exercise as the process began in December 2015. As a company, the BSE is now for-profit entity with commercial objectives and would be looking for various ways of revenue generation.