Botswana Buildings Society Limited has become the first company to register shares on the BSEL’s Serala board.A thrilled Managing Director of BBS, Pius Molefe told attendants of the listing ceremony on Wednesday that the registration on the Board allows existing shareholders to be able to sell their shares to those who did not previously own them.
The listing will also raise the company’s regional profile, improve the share liquidity as well as allow shareholders to determine the market value of shareholders’ investments. According to the BSE, the OTC Serala board ‘facilitates the secondary trading of shares in companies who list not to raise capital but to familarise themselves with the stock exchange’. BBS debuted at P1, 20 per share this Monday.
According to Molefe, who has been the Managing Director since the days when BBS was still a building society, said listing on Serala platform also signals intention to existing players on what kind of animal they will be once they are granted a commercial banking licence.
“The Company intends to apply for a banking licence in terms of Section 6 of the Banking Act. If the licence is granted, the Company will be the first bank in Botswana to be majority owned and controlled by citizens of Botswana, giving it a competitive advantage to be able to craft and create bespoke tailored products suitable to the unique needs and requirements of Botswana and Batswana,” BBS told shareholders this week.
Molefe said BBS will be able to migrate to the BSE main board within two years of operating as a commercial bank. The Botswana Stock Exchange CEO, Thapelo Tsheole has applauded BBS for having found it fitting to register with the bourse. He urged the company to migrate to the main board in due course, which offers even more opportunities such as capital raising and reputation.
“The BBS shares will trade like any other. However, they will have limited compliance requirements,” said Tsheole. BBS Limited was established as a building society under the Building Societies Act, in December 1976 primarily to be involved in property finance and the provision of services in connection therewith. Its philosophy was the provision of affordable property finance and attractive investment returns through the efficient utilisation of resources in the spirit of teamwork for the benefit of all stakeholders.
BBS continues to operate in a niche market of mortgage lending in Botswana where it has a substantial presence.It has nine branches in Botswana, split into three branches in Gaborone, and one in Lobatse, Serowe, Selibe Phikwe, Francistown, Maun and Kasane.