BBS Limited – on course to become the first homegrown commercial bank – intends to list on the Botswana Stock Exchange main board soon after it acquires a commercial banking license.
The company, which completed its demutualisation process early this year, listed its shares on the BSE Serala OTC board on Wednesday.
The ceremony was marked by the ringing of the bell by the CEO of the BSE, Thapelo Tsheole and the Managing Director of BBS, Pius Molefe. The bank has put a total of 487 million ordinary shares – all the issued shares of the company – on Serala OTC board for trading.
Tsheole explained that the BBS shares will trade just like any other shares, however, the bank will not be subjected to other regulatory compliances that other listed companies from other boards are expected to comply with.
Just like any other shares trading on the BSE, BBS share price will be determined by the market, Tsheole said.
BBS Limited MD, Molefe said listing on the BSE was the most gratifying moment in the history of the bank and marks an important milestone towards becoming a commercial bank. Over the course of time the bank expects to transition to the main board, joining others already trading there.
“We intend to list on the main board within 18 – 22 months after becoming a commercial bank,” Molefe said.
Molefe said listing will allow shareholders to trade-in their shares to others who were not part of the bank journey from the beginning.
The registration by BBS on the Serala board is expected to raise profile of BBS and its brand as a local financial institution; improve liquidity of shares of the company and also allow investors in the company to have a basis to determine the market value of their investment on an ongoing basis and provide them with access to liquidity in the event they wish to exit their investment.
BBS’ transformation journey began last year in August when BBS shareholders approved a demutualisation process, which converted them from a building society into a public company.
In April 2018, BBS was converted into a company limited by shares and became BBS Limited.
The company said it now intends to apply for a banking license with the central bank and if granted, it will become the first bank in Botswana to be majority-owned and controlled by citizens.
Having built a strong presence since establishment in 1976, providing property finance and other related services, BBS intends to build on that with the expansion of banking services expected to increase its presence and market share in the economy. The bank remains strongly operational in the market of mortgage lending with substantial presence countrywide.