As we advocated for in our last commentary regarding the BTCL IPO, the much anticipated transaction has been postponed to 2015. For once the government has listened to us, or at least to pleas made by potential Batswana investors.
As read elsewhere in this publication, on Friday the BTCL IPO project team announced the extension of the transaction to 2015. Although there is no commitment on a precise date of the IPO, we are grateful that the postponement will give Batswana interested in capital markets to participate when the company finally goes public. In the team’s own words, “A deferred IPO opening would have the additional benefit of allowing more Batswana to continue to save to enable them to participate in what will be the most significant listing in the history of Botswana.”
The fact of the matter is that at this time of the year, most ordinary Batswana, whom we believe deserve BTCL shares, are looking forward to spending the Christmas holidays with their families. Their budgets are as such geared towards Christmas spending, nothing else.
Like we said before, although it is true that investors will never be ready for an IPO, particularly those who are not familiar with capital markets like most of our people, the Bottom-line remains that the government should commit to initiatives intended at enhancing other on-going activities that are geared towards ensuring that as many citizens as possible prepare and participate in this momentous opportunity.
Fuel Prices reduction was long over-due
Also in this edition, we carry a story in which the government announced the reduction of fuel prices which was expected to be effected on Saturday. This should be good news for consumers who bear the burden of high fuel prices through increased cost of transport and manufactured goods.
Business magazine Bloomberg on Friday stated that crude oil prices have fallen to a four-year low due to increased output from the United States and a decline in global demand. The cost of fuel is expected to decline further in the first quarter of next year as a result of falling global oil prices, says the Energy Regulatory Commission. This leaves room for yet another reduction in prices during the coming year.
In the meantime, and now that we have reduced fuel prices, the next noble thing to do is to buy as much as we can fuel to fill-up our reserves. We are not aware of how big our tanks/reserves are, but the least we can do is to maximise on the gains that come as a result of this low prices. There is no doubt that unlike oil producing countries, to us this lower oil prices are unambiguously positive. It is for this reason that Botswana Oil Limited should take advantage of low oil prices and increase our reserves.
The government owned company is expected to, amongst other things safeguard and ensure efficiency of the country’s national fuel supply. The #Bottom-line is that there is no other better time to increase our fuel reserves at a cheaper price than now.