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BSE Urge Batswana To Bolster Local Bourse

The Botswana Stock Exchange(BSE) who are currently undergoing a process of demutualization to convert into a private company have been lauded for educating Batswana on the value of investing in vehicles on bourse to grow local businesses by selling shares, own companies by buying equity and generate revenue by investing in performing companies.

Speaking at an Open Day based on theme ‘Your Partner in Wealth Creation,’ it was however explicitly acknowledged that understanding of the value of the local stock market was still very low.

“There are benefits to be derived from the stock market, if there is greater participation by Batswana, economic empowerment will become a reality. That is why in 2016 the Government of Botswana took the decision to list Botswana telecommunications Corporation(BTCL) on the BSE and limit access of shares to Batswana only to promote citizen participation. BTCL shares are 100 percent held by the citizens of Botswana and for this we should be proud,” said Tshenolo Mabeo, Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development.

He said, “Apart from stimulating trading at the Exchange by bringing to the market over half of the 79,999 investors at the BSE today, the BTCL listing is a great example of how investors can reap rewards from the market. Case in point, at the time of listing the BTCL share price was P1.00 and it has since gone up to P1.48 and this essentially means that the amount of investment has gone up by the same rate of about 48%.”

Officials contend there are a lot of myths that need to be debunked about the local bourse. These include that it is for bigger companies and in some instances foreign companies. It was therefore imperative to further growth of home grown Botswana companies.

Lieutenant Tebogo Masire, Chairman of the BSE Main Committee, said “The strategy of the BSE is to improve literacy and to get Batswana to invest so that the economy can grow.”

He said, “We hope that by 2021 Batswana will be able to be the most literate people on investment. We have transitioned from an economy from where our fathers invested wealth in cattle in the ‘60’s to one in the seventies where they used banks. In the twentieth century you must invest in stocks. You cannot make money keeping money under the mattress.”

Lt. General Masire urged Batswana to be patient and to get out of the quick cash mentality saying if an individual invested 100 pula every month at 20 they could become a millionaire by the time they retire. This observation was buttressed by the Chief Executive of the local bourse.

Thapelo Tsheole, Chief Executive Officer of the BSE, said “No one starts breeding with a full kraal. You start with 1 or 2 and grow. After all, wealth development is a process.”

He said, “Choppies started one day as a small corner tuckshop in Lobatse and later on used the stock market to expand around Botswana and into South Africa. It is no coincidence that all big companies like Samsung, Microsoft and Facebook are listed on the stock market. It is a platform to grow your business.”

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