The Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) is in the process of establishing a fresh separate board for Small Medium Enterprises (SME), named ‘Tshipidi SME bond’, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Thapelo Tsheole has said.
Tsheole while speaking yesterday (Thursday) at the second annual BSE Listing & Investment Conference  explained that the new initiative inside the domestic bourse would create an opportunity for SMEs to enjoy listing benefits.  “We are presently finalizing the rules then presenting them to the board for approval then regulator for final approval.”

It is part of  the local bourse’s transformational plan to make rules conducive and less stringent. This, Tsheole says, is part of an elaborate strategy to attract SMMEs to list and raise capital on the BSE, whether it’s through listing equity or bonds. The domestic bourse is looking to do this by also revamping the venture capital board by relaxing the rules, and possibly rebranding it to speak to SMMEs, a process that is ongoing.

Globally, Tsheole argues SMMEs are significant employers and potential contributors to economic development which is why their growth is vital to the nourishment of any economy. “However access to external finance which may help an SMME transition into becoming a bigger company is a major barrier to this successful growth.” he argued. It was in recognition of these challenges that the BSE sought to put focus on SMEs in this year’s conference, hence the theme ‘The BSE as a Gateway to Raising Capital’.

Tsheole says the conference has grown substantially since inception. “Last year the conference created immense interest among businesses to access the stock exchange to raise capital judging from the level of engagement that we have since experienced.” This year BSE attracted over 400 delegates representing privately owned companies.

BSE is currently going through a transitional growth period aimed at positioning the exchange as a pivotal part of economic development. The Exchange has since developed a five (5) year plan aimed at growing market capitalization, products, number of issuers and investors. As per the newly approved BSE Strategy for the period 2017 to 2021, the BSE aims to increase the number of domestic companies listed from 24 to 30,  the number of foreign companies listed from 10 to 15,  grow the ratio of the BSE’s market capitalization to GDP from 34 percent to 40 percent and increase the number of bonds listed from 39 to 50.



Furthermore Tsheole’s team wants to increase the number of Exchange Traded Products (ETPs), such as Exchange Traded Funds (ETFS), listed on the BSE from the current 4 to 10, the number of asset classes available on the BSE from the current 3 to 6,  the average daily turnover levels to P18.0 Million per day and the number of investors on the BSE from 78,193 by the end of 2016 to 100,000 by 2021.
The Listings and Investments Conference, which annually attracts major business and economic figures continues today concluding tomorrow.