Tuesday, March 5, 2024

BSE lifts BTCL suspension as share price drops by 12%

The Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) has lifted the trading halt on BTCL shares following the company’s announcement that it will yield to some of the demands by its employees who are also part shareholders. 

The trading of Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL) shares on the BSE domestic main board was suspended this past Thursday until mid Friday.

According to the BSE, the decision to halt trading of shares on April 25th was made in order to allow for the dissemination of information through the BSE regarding changes to BTCL Employee Shares Trust.

BTCL Public Relations Manager Golekanye Molapise confirmed to Sunday Standard, that the corporation has since agreed to engage the disgruntled shareholders. 
“I can confirm that trading was halted and consultations between stakeholders continue,” Molapise said Thursday.

When the halt was lifted Friday mid-day, BTCL cautioned its shareholders that it intends altering the terms of the BTCL Employee Share Trust in order to establish an Employee Share Ownership Plan.

“The objective of the alteration is to permit BTCL employees to directly own BTCL shares and permit them full voting and profit participation rights, together with the ability to buy and sell BTCL shares generally, as distinct to the limited ownership rights in terms of the original Trust,” reads the statement.

The corporation also stated that the final terms of the ESOP are yet to be determined and advised shareholders to exercise caution when dealing in BTCL’s securities until a full announcement is made. BTCL said the announcement, when made, will be in the form of a circular to shareholders, containing full details, and will make it clear that the implementation of the ESOP will be subject to the approval of the BSE.

Sunday Standard can reveal that BTCL did not follow the right procedure on its intention of altering the terms of the BTCL Employee Share Trust in order to establish an Employee Share Ownership Plan and also other market sensitive related issues.

BTCL shares were officially listed on the local bourse three weeks ago and the allocation has been conducted in accordance with the requirements of the BSE. All applicants in relation to the 462,000,000 shares were allotted their first 900,000 shares applied for in full.

The BTCL IPO also saw an unprecedented majority of offers made by individuals, with over 90 percent of the 462,000,000 accepted offers received from individuals and citizen owned companies. The balance was received from institutional investors, who drove the IPO to an oversubscription status.

BTCL Managing Director (MD) Paul Taylor at the time of listing admitted to the challenges they had in getting towards listing adding that time was extremely tight.  He said with each challenge the whole IPO team stood shoulder to shoulder and developed solutions that have ultimately resulted in reaching the historic moment. 

Meanwhile BTCL was the largest casualty at the markets this week as it languished by 12 percent on profit taking. The telecommunications company reached highs of 135thebe since its listing but closed at 112thebe on Friday. 



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