Increased indigenous company listings promotes Botswana’s commercial profile, further diversifies the economy through the financial sector: BIHL Group

BIHL Group believes that local companies stand to benefit financially and professionally from becoming listed operations. Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) continues to be a viable platform for business growth. These sentiments were shared by the BIHL Group CEO, Catherine Lesetedi-Letegele, ahead of the BSE Listings Conference. The Group has also announced its official participation and sole diamond sponsorship of the conference, billed for March 9th, 2017 in Gaborone.

The Group holds the view that increased listings of indigenous companies can bolster Botswana’s commercial standing, further diversify the economy through the financial sector and in turn allow for greater distribution of wealth across the population.  

Speaking on behalf of BIHL, the Group’s PR, Communications & Marketing Manager, Tebogo Keepetsoe said, “Our participation as Diamond Sponsor at this year’s Conference comes off the back of our continued belief in the local bourse. We encourage local companies to seriously consider listing as a way to expand their operations. Through listing in 1991, BIHL was able to finance its growth in the local financial sector, benefit from the bespoke counsel of the BSE and use our public-listed status to venture into markets beyond our borders.”

BIHL believes that there are several viable opportunities that listing has to offer. These include the following:

· Access to large-scale fundraising: Listing offers companies opportunity to raise the necessary capital to expand their operations, while allowing them to maintain their set operational costs. Additionally, listing allows ready marketability of      securities on a continuous basis.

· In addition to the initial fundraising from the initial public offer, listing allows exposure to raise a company’s asset value. A listed company by its very nature and in line with the compliance requirements of the BSE, is a company that            holds strong governance dear. This in turn raises a company’s corporate profile and opportunities to raise additional capital and grow the business through other means are made available, as the company becomes more known to        the        public and investors.

· Brand awareness via public education. Listing allows companies the opportunity to engage with the public and potential investors. In the future, the company benefits from reaching and influencing a wider audience, which offers                      opportunities for greater business development.  

· Listing allows a company the kind of profile, experience and stature needed for expansions into foreign markets. In 2016 for example, the Group expanded its footprint into other country markets through the acquisition of a 25.1% stake    in Nico Holdings Malawi, allowing the Group to operate in Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda and Mozambique. The Group’s asset management subsidiary, Bifm, also penetrated the Zambian market through  a 49% stake in Aflife                        Zambia, which deals with asset management and employee benefits in that market.

In addition, BIHL encourages listings on the BSE in particular, due to its formidable standing in the region. The local bourse is currently the third largest in the region in terms of market capitalisation. Its standing amongst larger capital markets including SA and Namibia, is a feat the Group encourages local companies to consider as another key benefit of listing. The local stock exchange is home to both indigenous and international major players in Botswana from a variety of industries, these brands include Letshego, Turnstar, Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL) and more.

Concluded Mrs. Keepetsoe, “Rre Tsheole and his team have evidently made good strides in the securities industry. We commend BSE for this campaign and trust that more Batswana businesspeople will be exposed to the opportunities of listing that await them.”

Officially listed in 1991, with an issue that was over-subscribed by 273%, BIHL Group is one of the veteran companies, with 26 years on the local bourse.