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BBS Limited registers shares worth over P480 million on BSE

Publishing Date : 11 September, 2018

Author : REARABILWE RAMAPHANE

Following its demutualization from a building society converting into a limited company in April this year BBS now Botswana Building Society Limited (BBSL) is transiting progressively to becoming the country‘s first home grown and indigenous commercial bank.


BBS limited this week became the first company to be registered on the Botswana Stock Exchange Limited (BSEL) Serala OTC Board. When giving welcome remarks at the registration bell ringing ceremony held at the BSEL headquarters in Gaborone, BSEL Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Thapelo Tsheole  said BBSL made history by becoming  the first company to register shares on  the Serala board  which was set up last year for public interest companies  to register shares outside the normal channels of the main bourse .


Companies can only be registered on Serala Board for a period not exceeding five years. Tsheole explained that BBS shares will be traded like any other shares listed on the BSE market however with lesser and relaxed requirement compared to companies trading on the main equity board. “The difference between listing on the main board and registering shares on the Serala board is that in this case, BBS will not have to deal and comply with steep stipulations and listing requirements like companies listed on the main board,” he said.


Thapelo Tsheole further noted that at a later stage BBS Limited will migrate and graduate into the main board for complete and full listing in the equity share market. BBS Limited Managing Director, Pius Molefe observed that the registration of Botswana’s home grown financial services provider was a historic occasion that will give birth to greater strides for the company. “This is the most gratifying and exciting moment in the history of our organisation “he said.


Molefe explained that BBS directors decided to apply for a registration of shares on the Serala OTC Board to raise the regional profile of BBS and its brand as a local financial institution, to improve the liquidity of the shares of the company as well as to allow investors in the company to have a basis to determine the market value of their investment on an ongoing basis. Molefe said BBSL will also provide them with access to liquidity in the event that they wish to exit their investment.


He explained that the registration mirrored an introduction of up to 487 014 002 ordinary shares of no par value which is equivalent to BBS Limited capital of BWP 487 014 002.00, will be available for trading within Batswana and current shareholders who wish to sell.
Molefe reiterated that BBSL’s plan is to graduate into the listed equity board within 18-20 months of operating as commercial bank.


On the 24th August 2014 BBS Shareholders resolved to approve a demutualization process, which converted a building society into a public company incorporated in terms of the Companies Act. On the 26th April 2018, BBS was converted into a company limited by shares, under the name BBS Limited.  The Company intends to apply for a banking licence in terms of Section 6 of the Banking Act.


 If BBSL 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. As a building society, the Company already had a strong business presence and the expansion of banking services offered will only increase its presence and market share in the economy.


The exceptional growth of BBS over the past 40 years can best be measured by the phenomenal increase in reserves from inception to the present P220 million in March 2017. The statutory reserve alone increased from a mere P200 to almost P119 million over this period. BBS has consistently met its dividend obligations to its shareholders every year over the past 40 years of its existence, and occasionally, has paid bonus dividends. Late last year BBSL secured a loan amounting to over 250 million pula from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to finance its expansion into financial inclusion products.


 BBS said during the loan transaction that the funds would be used to promote its financial inclusion quest and access to housing finance in Botswana. BBS is a traditional financing partner to ordinary and middle income earning Batswana with products tailored for low earning households and informal small entrepreneurs.  The investment   comprised of a senior loan equivalent to $25 million in local currency.


Still at the historic registration ceremony BBSL Board Chairman, Taolelo Mosetlhi said the entire process of converting a society into a public company and proceeding to putting up shares for trading on the competitive and growing stock market that BSEL is, was a great achievement for the company. He shared that the registration of shares in the Serala Board was the beginning of an existing journey of transforming what was once a small society into a proudly indigenous bank  by in large owned by Batswana.

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