Monday, October 19, 2020

Inside Stock Brokers Botswana’s suspension at BSE

Fresh details have emerged about investigations into operational inefficiencies and maladministration at one of Botswana’s longest serving Stock Broker, Stock Brokers Botswana limited (SBB) which led to its suspension from trading at the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) this past Wednesday.

Details of investigations by Non Banking Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA), the regulator, and BSE are shedding new light on the extent of operational issues at the stock broker, some of which include employing the company’s finance manager without undergoing the proper vetting process by NBFIRA at beginning of the year.

Another point of contention is the unclear clutches between SSB’s shareholder and Managing Director, Titose Tibone and the company’s CEO Oosi Lemo in terms of their responsibilities within SBB. Lemo’s responsibility as head of Stockbrokers Botswana is to direct the strategy of the business by building its image, increase profitability and also meeting the expectations of the Directors, clients and employees.

Investigations conducted by Sunday Standard reveal that both NBFIRA and BSE did inspections on the SBB operations resulting in the Stock broker being suspended indefinitely from trading at the BSE and the Central Securities Depository Botswana (CSDB) effective Wednesday 31 August, 2016. This publication can also exclusively reveal that the pressure NBFIRA and BSE subjected on SBB made the Broker consider applying for voluntary winding up the business as the stock broking business is not profitable.  

The indefinite suspension of SBB will only be lifted once the firm implements all pending operational issues. Meanwhile BSE advised account holders that their holdings are still intact and that they should approach any of the three brokers, Imara Secuties, Motswedi Securities and African Alliance to transfer their accounts from SBB if they are trading.

During a press conference, BSE CEO Thapelo Tsheole said in a stock market environment, a member can be suspended from trading for a number of breaches that range from non-compliance, operational and administrative and governance issues pending further action. “The BSE will be carrying out an investigation in consultation with the regulator, NBFIRA,” said Tsheole.

Part of the letter addressed to its clients and signed by Tibone says the accountants engaged on a consultancy basis are unable to speedily deal with the backlog and assist with the normal daily accounting function. He also said the suspension was made at the request of SBB.

Despite the can of worms that have been opened, Tibone says SBB is a sound business that will protect the interests of their clients at all times.

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