The Botswana Stock Exchange Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Thapelo Tsheole, says that the retail participation of citizens on the local bourse was at 8.7 percent of total value of trading while that of foreigners is only 2.2 percent of total trading in 2013. Of the total 10.9 percent of total retail trading on the BSE, 80 percent is that of citizens.
Tsheole attributes this level of participation to the development of investor-friendly products as well as an education campaign that has reached the farthest corners of the country.
Citing an example of the former, Tsheole says that while in the past one had to buy 100 shares/ETF units (which was unaffordable for some), nowadays that number has been reduced to just one unit.
The education campaign has also sought to align the workings of the BSE with cultural life of the Batswana, in particular saving and cattle rearing. It has also helped, Tsheole adds, that some of the educational material that the stock exchange has developed, have been translated into Setswana.
As an indication that the Botswana bourse continues to grow by leaps and bounds, Tsheole says that in 2008, retail participation as a percentage of total BSE activity stood at 3 percent and shot up to 8.7 percent in 2012/13 and fluctuating between 8percent to 15 percent in the past two years.
“This is not bad compared to major African stock exchanges like Nigeria’s and the JSE,” he says, referring, by the latter, to South Africa’s Johannesburg Stock Exchange. According to Tsheole, retail participation on the JSE is 10 percent while Nigeria’s is 5 percent.
“We are not doing badly when you compare today’s figures to those of 2008. In terms of the value and volume of trade we are doing quite well,” he says.