The Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) says its recent joining of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative of the United Nations comes at an opportune time when the local bourse is positioning itself as an international player within global markets.
BSE CEO Thapelo Tsheole said promoting sustainability through robust environmental, social and governance reporting in the capital markets landscape is fundamental to their strategic positioning. The local bourse also seeks to attract ESG oriented investment mandates from across the globe.
This week, Tsheole stated that the first step to be a partner of the exchange is the signing of the SSE commitment letter, which is a public commitment to promote sustainability in their market.
”Going forward the BSE will play a critical role in contributing to the strategic direction of the SSE consultative group and in promoting sustainability in Botswana,” said Tsheole.
He also believes that the BSE’s involvement in this initiative, and the responsibility and commitment it comes with, sends a clear message that the BSE is responsive to the ever changing dynamics of the international capital market and is a global partner in the capital market. He added that BSE listed companies stand to benefit from such inflows that reward companies that are ESG oriented. BSE also intends to align with international best practise in a bid to continue attracting investment inflows from global investors.
‘Our decision to be part of this initiative was based on the fact that sustainability has received increased attention over the years and there is a dedicated focus by investment managers to consider sustainability in making their investment and asset allocation decisions,” he stated.
Tsheole is of the view that a lot of opportunities are being created for the industry globally on the back on increased awareness around green finance. He said they encompass financial investments flowing into sustainable development projects and initiatives, environmental products, and policies that encourage the development of a more sustainable economy. He said they believe that green finance has broadened the scope of work for stock exchanges as there is now more focus on policy support and promulgation as well as financial market infrastructure, such as providing infrastructure for carbon markets, green ratings, green stock indices and green investor networks.
“The new BSE equity listing requirements will require companies to adopt integrated reporting on an “apply-or-explain” basis and the approach has gained traction even before the rules are implemented,” he said.
The BSE CEO stated that they are also successful particularly with companies which are dual listed across several markets like JSE, TSX, AIM that are ahead in respect of integrated reporting. He added that their participation through the SSE’s investor working groups, corporate working groups, would give the companies access to a global network from which lessons and benchmarking can be drawn and opportunities for strategic partnerships created within the sustainability agenda.