Welcome to Africa Stock Exchange Botswana Boardroom Meeting-
Hi everybody, this is Yusuf Azizullah from GBAC, and this month we are bringing Thapelo Tsheole, the stock exchange CEO of Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE).
Welcome, Thapelo. For joining us, welcome. Could you tell us that Botswana is a landlocked country next to South Africa Namibia? How has COVID treated you as a country and talked about the Stock Exchange?
Yeah, as a country, its effects are being felt across the economy, and I just across the people we have been on several lockdowns. We’ve been in a state of emergency likely to enforce the control of COVID. So therefore, there have been restrictions in terms of movement of people and movement of generally the people across the country, and this impacts businesses. When the impact is failed in businesses, it was ultimately failed in the stock market.
That’s what we are seeing now when we have seen the index has gone down at (-8%) since the start of Covid last year, the trading levels were very thin, like 60% down mainly because you know COVID hit people who want to be very cautious in terms of the only one to sell or buy at the right prices but now as things are coming out across the planet vaccines are being implemented and so forth how do you see the recovery in Botswana and what is the stock exchange doing specifically for the listed members.
The recovery in terms of the economy’s GDP is expected to grow this year to about 7% of seven percent. So I think that is actually used to everyone in the economy and also in terms of the story change, we have been able to impart knowledge to our listed entities to give a good platform for them to raise capital in the case they need to keep it, especially at this time when there’s a great need for cash. So therefore, we have had a lot of activity in the primary market.
Great, there’s something Botswana did that was very Innovative during COVID. I want to highlight that the ERGI stands for Ethical practices in Supply Chains, which signed a leadership with Australia, Canada, the USA, Peru, and Botswana.
You’re creating a Framework for Supply Chains. How will that promote mSustainabilitylity in the country and bring more capital? If you can comment something about that, that would be good for my viewers to understand how that is helping you guys?
Yeah, I think the good thing is that I mean every trade agreement that is signed to enhance economic change between countries it’s very helpful, especially for a country like Botswana, which is small and landlocked, so this can Sustain the growth of the economy by having more partners in terms of exchange of goods and services.
I think it is an added plus to the economy. So therefore, I think it is the right step, in the right direction, is a positive move great outstanding.
I also wanted to highlight your Stock Exchange. It is a Sustainable Stock Exchange. Could you tell me what that means and how that is helping the investors? Yeah.
BSE is a sustainable store exchange we joined this United Nations initiatives and this also actually is a group of stock changes that they have committed themselves to carry out Sustainability issues (Environmental Social & Governance ESG) and initiatives and also to actually holding some ESG seminars and workshops and putting in place some activities that encour Sustainabilitylity in the companies that are listed in the exchange and we have done that a lot we profile sustainable companies we also carry out initiatives that encourSustainabilitylity and thereby we are able to attract a lot of investors say in the sustainability space outstanding what is the largest listed company there what is the the biggest investment that people are attracted to tell us a bit about your offerings at the stock exchange yeah we have companies across the various industries the financial services company especially the big insurance and banking yes sectors we also have the security sector company listed in the security sector but we also have the FNBB (First National Bank of Botswana), consumer goods and it’s also a very considerable a big sector agriculture we have a company that deals with the production of seeds and in the architectural space I think it’s also a very good mix and therefore we have got companies across multiple sectors and this gives adversity in terms of investments that are available and for investors.
Fantastic, where do you want to make the exchange? What is the plan for the next 5-10 years?
Yeah I think they may need to make the international exchange as an investment a place for foreign investors and also for locals to encourage a lot of citizens to take place we’ve been able to increase citizen participation in the stock market about 500 percent in the last four years and also to create a platform where companies that are operating in the economy can actually come and raise capital and also deploy this capital somewhere for the productive activities and we’ve been able to successfully do that because almost 60 percent of our companies raise capital in input zone and they also expand with this capital to the rest of Africa and therefore making Botswana our journal still change as a platform for raising capital to expand to into the continent and we want to continue to provide this platform to a number of companies especially also medium and small-sized companies that want to utilize the stock chain for that growth especially that the economy is actually dominated by the medium-sized companies.
Fantastic, this is good. Anything else you want my viewers to know, you know I’m in more than 106 countries. I have Global 500 Chairs and now DOW 30 Chairs and CEOs. They’re always looking for new opportunities for anything you would like to add. Would I love to learn?
Yeah, you know it is a good investment destination in terms of the fact that it is very stable politically. So it’s a stable economy. Uh, they’ve got a fully convertible currency, we can use capital freely in and out at any particular point in time, so there are no exchange controls. So therefore, it presents itself as a strong investment destination, so also it’s an economy that is fast growing. I think we, on average, grow at a minimum of about 3.5 percent.
So, therefore, I think the policies and laws in the country are very conducive for investments both in terms of people coming into the market and for companies to do business here.
Fantastic, thank you, Thapelo Tsheole, for taking the time to tell us a little about your exchange, and your country appreciates you coming and joining us.
Thank you for taking the time to visit us. Thank you!
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