Saturday, May 15, 2021

BBS Limited securities resume trading at BSE

The embattled commercial bank to be – BBS Limited ended the week on a positive note as the local bourse lifted the suspension of the trading of its securities.

Botswana Stock Exchange Chief Executive – Thapelo Tsheole said on Thursday that the halt on trading of the BBS equity securities registered on the BSE Serala OTC board and the suspension of the trading of the BBS005 Bonds effected on 07 April 2021 has been lifted. The suspension came as result of a brawl between the board and part of the former executive management. The BBS Limited board of directors this past week prevailed  in firing two of its executive senior managers in a one-week tense drama that saw the managers defying the board, and the regulators coming in swiftly to control the situation before it spiralled in another corporate scandal.

On Monday, the BBS board led by Pelani Siwawa-Ndai announced the termination of the bank’s managing director Pius Molefe and board secretary Sipho Showa, who is also the bank’s head of marketing. The two managers had last week Wednesday stunned markets when they publicly issued a statement rebutting the termination of their contracts by the board, which was announced two days before.

The defiant duo escalated the drama when they engaged heavy security to keep the board members from accessing the bank’s headquarters. On late Friday last week, the BBS board of directors secured an order against Molefe and Showa, with the High Court confirming the termination of the managers and granted the board’s wish to bar Molefe and Showa from entering the BBS premises without its authorisation and banned them from communicating with the bank’s staff and other key stakeholders.

On Monday, following the judgement, lifted the trading halt it had imposed on the bank’s listed bond. However, BBS’s shares remain suspended from trading as regulators investigate the fallout between the board and the senior managers.

This was the second time BBS run foul with the BSE. The bank’s shares were suspended from trading in 2019 from the BSE’s Serala OTC Board, which is a springboard for companies that intend to list on the main board of the BSE. The partially state owned mortgage lender had failed to release its 2018 audited financials within the required time.

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