Francistown Mayoress Sylvia Muzila has expressed concern that Batswana are being excluded from participating in the stock market due to lack of information. Speaking during the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) Open day which was held for the first time in Francistown last week she said investing in the stock markets has the potential to improve people’s livelihoods.
“With traditional forms of investment such as farming and property commonly acceptable amongst others, the stock market continues to exclude Batswana due to lack of information that one can access,” she said.
BSE held an open day in Francistown in an endeavor to increase its reach in the North-East region to sensitize and educate the public about the stock market and the importance of investing. The initiative also served as a platform to guide participants on the process of investing in BSE listed securities and assist in addressing some of the concerns many Batswana may have regarding the stock market.
Muzila however lauded Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) for finally bringing the stock exchange information to Francistown. She explained that capital markets play a very important role with regard to the expanding of opportunities for broad based economic growth spearheaded by a robust private sector. She further praised BSE for taking the open day to Francistown as it would avail an opportunity for prospective business owners to acquire knowledge on how they can grow their businesses through listing on the BSE.
“The growth of our economy depends on having an enlarged and diversified private sector. Indeed government has continued to nurture the development of entrepreneurship within our society particularly with the youth. However it is one mandatory duty to look beyond the scope of regional presence, but also across borders by using avenues such as the Exchange to raise capital and achieve their goals,” added Muzila.
She said as Botswana celebrates its 50 years of independence, it is the right time for optimism and it is time for one to consider how they can pave the way for their financial well-being and the wellbeing of their loved ones looking ahead. She also said that the proud history of the Botswana Stock Exchange and success stories of the listed companies to date, truly do outline how continued efforts on all fronts can nurture and tackle issues of unemployment and the promotion of infrastructure development.
Giving an overview of Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) , the Chief Executive Officer of Botswana Stock Exchange Thapelo Tsheole said that BSE was established in 1989 and then it was known as Botswana Share Market(BSM). He said their main objective is to provide and operate a fair, transparent and efficient stock market for all stakeholders in order to optimize national economic development.
“During that time there were only five listed firms with a single broking firm. The legislation to transform the BSM into a full exchange was passed in September 1994 and this paved way for establishment of the BSE and formal trading opened in November 1995.
He said the BSE which is a 100 percent government owned parasternal is currently undergoing a process of demutualization which commenced in December 2015. He added that their vision is to be the leading Stock Exchange in Africa.
“Our core values are passion, respect, integrity, discipline and execution. The BSE is a member of the Committee of SADC Stock Exchanges (CoSSE), African Securities Exchanges Association, World Federation of Exchages(WFE) which we joined in June 2016 and we are a partner exchange of the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchange(SSE) initiative which we joined in April 2016.
Among other important issues, Tsheole encouraged participants to invest in the stock markets as this could make their money work for them and create a bright future for them. He however said that investing in the stock markets has its own risks and as well as returns. He warned that as they invest in the stock markets they should have all the necessary information to make informed the decisions and said that their doors are open for information. Touching on their BSE investment products he said that they deal with Shares, Bonds and Exchange Trading Funds(ETF’)s. He explained in detail each of the benefits and risks entailed in these products.
“We also have brokers who can help you in buying BSE listed securities. Stockbrokers are licensed by the BSE to buy and sell shares on your behalf and they have exclusive access to BSE markets to execute trades,” he told the participants.
Tsheole also educated the participants on among others the Central Securities Depository Systems, the buying and selling of shares on the BSE, keeping track of investments and Benefits of listing on BSE.
In conclusion he said that BSE is committed in nurturing the supply side of the market by attracting privately-owned companies to list and by offering investors a wide range of companies to invest in. He said in the long run, this would help to improve the liquidity in the market.