The Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) says the public campaigns to get Batswana seeing stocks as an asset class and avoid putting the same eggs in one basket continued in 2015 as seen by the growth retail investors in one region known for many cattle barons.
An analysis of the distribution of retail investor turnover by districts and major towns and cities across Botswana shows that the contribution of retail investors based in Gaborone has declined from 78.5% in 2014 to 70.7% in 2015. However, the BSE 2015 annual report reveals that on the other hand, contribution of the Ngamiland district based retail investors jumped from 0.8% to 6.9% in 2014 and 2015, respectively.
“This is encouraging as it illustrates that turnover distribution is somewhat improving,” said Thapelo Tsheole headed BSE. ” Owing to the structure of Botswana’s economy and demographics, much activity has been concentrated in the Southern and Eastern parts of the country. As such, local retail investors’ turnover has largely originated from the South-Eastern part of the country.”
However, the BSE said notwithstanding the improvement in distribution, more effort is still needed to improve the situation in peripheral districts. “These are namely the Chobe, North-East and Kgalagadi districts.”
The BSE uses several platforms such as radio, television, newspapers and public presentations, radio shows to disseminate market information and updates. These initiatives will continue in 2016 as they are important in increasing retail investor participation on the BSE.
According to the bourse, it continued to pursue its market development initiatives which are aimed at promoting awareness about investment opportunities on the BSE in order to improve retail investor participation in the stock market.
The BSE conducted public presentations to various institutions and participated in a number of exhibitions and trade fairs to further this objective. At these events, members of the public attended the presentations conducted by the BSE in 2015. Majority of the road shows were with regards to the dematerialisation campaign. The campaigns were held in high foot count areas such as bus ranks and shopping mall and announcement of the schedule was publicised in print media and through radio stations.
Amongst the outreach events that BSE participated on include NBFIRA Fairs, St. Joseph’s College Staff Fair Day, UBFS Finance & Banking Week, CSDB Dematerialisation Roadshow and Out of School Education & Training.
The BSE also used other platforms to disseminate market information and updates including a programme called “First Issues” which featured the BSE’s market performance update every Tuesday evening on BTV, on RB1 the information was broadcast through “Sefalana sa Papadi” every Monday and “Tsele le Tsele” every Friday and again on RB2 “Business Fit In” every Friday. The BSE also presented market updates on Yarona FM and Gabz FM as and when requested. Throughout 2015, the BSE also maintained an interactive Facebook page and Twitter page.
In 2013, the BSE commenced a project to promote financial literacy and awareness amongst students, culminating in the inaugural Finance & Investment Senior Secondary Schools Competition in November 2013. The competition was open to all senior secondary schools in Gaborone in 2013, and was rolled out to six districts in 2014.
The BSE held the third annual Finance & Investment Senior Secondary Schools Competition in November 2015. Invitation to the competition was extended all senior secondary schools, both private and public, in Botswana. All 43 Senior Secondary Schools were invited and only 10 schools made it to the finals of the competition.
“This was an improvement from the 4 and 8 schools that made it to the final in 2013 and 2014, respectively. With this initiative, the BSE is inculcating a culture of investing from a young age as we strongly believe that students are investors of tomorrow. As such, initiatives such as this go a long way in increasing financial awareness at grassroot level.”
Unlike in 2014 when trading activity was dominated by foreign institutional investors (foreign companies), local institutional investors (local companies) took the lead in 2015. Trades by local companies accounted for 61.6% of the total turnover whereas foreign companies contributed 33.8% to total turnover in 2015. Foreign individuals registered an increase from 1.5% to 2.0% between 2014 and 2015 whereas local individuals recorded a decline of 1.3 percentage points over the same period to account for 2.4% of turnover in 2015.