Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE), the country’s bourse is at an advanced stage of demutualisation with a draft constitution of BSE Limited now before the parent ministry for evaluation, Chief Executive Officer Thapelo Tsheole has disclosed.
Ahead of the highly-anticipated transformation which has been touted for a number of years, a consultant has completed the valuation and share attribution of the BSE which has since been given the nod by Finance and Economic Development ministry headed by Kenneth Matambo. The bourse has been reluctant to disclose its value and shareholding structure that it has proposed to government. However, it seems BSE, which is currently controlled by government, is moving speedily to join other progressive bourses which are independently run and owned. “The draft constitution of the BSE Limited is also being reviewed by MFED. Our expectation is that the BSE will fully demutualise in 2018,” stressed the optimistic Tsheole. He was speaking in Kasane last Wednesday, where delegates from Africa and the Middle East had gathered for the 27th meeting of Africa Middle East Depositories Association (AMEDA).
The demutulisation of the bourse will also affect CSD (Central Securities Depository) which is currently a 100 percent subsidiary of the stock exchange. The Task Force and the High Level Inter Agency Committee that are overseeing the project on establishing the national CSD have proposed two ownership options post demutualisation. The first option put forward is that BSE owns 80 percent and the rest by brokers, custodians, PDs and institutional partners. “These options are in line with ownership structures of most of the CSDs in Africa and around the world. Unfortunately, the Bank of Botswana Act prohibits the Bank from having a stake in commercial entities so it will not be allocated any shareholding,” said Tsheole, who is also chairman of SADC Stock Exchanges Association.
In an interview with BSE News quarterly publication, Chairman of BSE main committee, Lt Gen.Tebogo Masire said about the impending demutualisation process: “Operating under the current regime is quite restrictive, to me it stifles ingenuity and creativity,” he said. BSE is among the leading stock exchanges in the African continent.