The Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) property listed companies have been urged to utilize the BSE to raise capital and also reach the international market.
Speaking at the Botswana’s property and infrastructure forum in Gaborone this week, BSE Head of Product Development, Kopano Bolokwe told the conference that, the property market is the third largest sector on the BSE and is doing very well. The one day forum was held under the theme “the search for growth.”
According to the product development head, all the six listed are very successful.
Botswana has always been known to have plenty of cash in the market, that is excess liquidity; but limited investment opportunities which results in the money ending up offshore.
The industry players are positive that, Botswana is tempting for real estate investors as it has a high percentage of listed property companies, Africa’s second most transparent property market, with the GDP is expected to grow by 4.5 percent this year.
Bolokwe told the industry players that, “We are sitting on deeper deposits of pension funds here in Botswana. You need to take advantage and utilize the stock exchange to raise capital for your growth. On the secondary market, foreign investors account to 30-40 percent of the total trade exchanges. There is little to do to promote free float. The current legislation allows free float level to be at 20 percent.”
He however revealed that, “BSE has since submitted for review to increase to up to 30 percent. But still most companies are still able to reach this 30 percent. There is a buy and hold. We do market education to try solve the lack of market in the stock market.”
Unlike its resource-heavy regional counterparts, Botswana’s upper Investment grade credit rating (the best in Africa), and political stability has enabled it to attract investment especially in its highly coveted real estate sector, which has been rated as one of the world’s most improved performing markets.
Viewed as a mature market by property investors and developers, the country presents an increasingly compelling investment case for those searching for stable long-term returns.
Sandy Kelly, Managing Director of Prime Time Property Holdings Limited also encouraged going for the international markets, however emphasising that Botswana market is not exhausted as yet. “We are not done here yet for expansion growth. We would like to be industrial as there are opportunities in this segment which we have seen growing over the years. One has to be innovative, and not follow the same-old approach, so we have started looking at brownfields developments and investments turning round failed or distressed properties.”
Jacopo Pari, RDC Properties Chief Executive Officer, however shared a different view that Botswana is stagnant; property companies could do more across the borders and try get the best out of it.