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BSE to list new Exchange Traded Fund

Deputy chief executive officer of the BSE Thapelo Tsheole


The Botswana Stock Exchange, the leading bourse, is all set to float a new Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) to add onto the existing ones in a few months’ time.


Currently there are three ETF’s listed on the local exchange and bringing another one in 2015 will grow the number to four. The ETF’S are Bettabeta ETF, Newgold ETF and Newplat ETF.


 “The announcement for the new ETF listing will be made in in the next two to three months,” the deputy chief executive officer of the BSE Thapelo Tsheole said.


ETFs remain among the fastest growing investment funds in major markets across the world. They are attractive because of their low costs, tax efficiency and stock-like features.


He highlighted that the turnover for ETF’s has improved in 2015 relative to 2014 on a comparable basis with significant inflows into the Bettabeta ETF, followed by Newgold and finally Newplat.


“Trades in ETFs since 2010 have exceeded the P1.0 billion mark and BSE is looking to list in the near term,” said Tsheole.


Naturally, exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) are clearly poised to help the circulation of money on the local market. BettaBeta gives access to top 40 companies on the JSE while new NewGold gives access to gold stocks without having to physically buy gold. This helps in diversifying investor portfolios.


The BSE operates in an attractive environment as Botswana has no exchange controls which have helped improve inflows into the market. “Since we have stabilized, we want to bring people from southern Africa to buy ETF,” he added.


Tsheole called on market players to search Africa for ETFs and also boost BSE liquidity problems.  Tsheole observed that ETFs improve liquidity and broaden the choice of investment securities in the market in the sense that they are another asset class or are investment securities to which investments funds can be diverted.


Previously, the exchange has encouraged participants to come up with local ETFs considering that Botswana is a resource country. Tsheole appealed to fund managers to assist in looking for stocks in Africa.


BettaBeta which listed at 32.95 on 11 May 2011 on Thursday it was settling at P41.90 with its turnover currently sitting at P326,5million. NewGold listed on 13 July2010 at P83.00  was trading at 107,20 with its turnover at P26,2million and Newplat which listed last year has 735,000 traded units and its turnover sitting at P82,1million.

THE DOMESTIC MARKET CAP EXCEED P50BN FOR THE 1ST TIME IN HISTORY…

The second quarter marked the highest turnover recorded in the history of the BSE on a quarterly basis and the 2nd highest in terms of volumes. What was also interesting to note was; almost 90% of the domestic counters ended the quarter on a positive footing, reflecting upbeat sentiments towards most of the counters, leading to a market average P/E of almost 15x, the highest in more than 2 years.


During the quarter, 241mn shares worth of P944.8mn exchanged hands, this was significantly higher than the trades in the prior quarter; a 57% increase in volumes and 69% surge in value traded.


The highest volumes were registered during the month of May. The huge quarterly volumes were mainly from Letshego; which has been topping the trades for a 6th straight quarter. The micro lender exchanged 35% of those volumes while property giant Turnstar and FNBB exchanged 10.4% and 8.5% respectively.


Despite the obvious trend of having high liquidity from the large caps, we saw some of the small market capitalization stocks like Cresta and Imara being very active during the quarter under review. Letshego posted daily average of about 1.4mn shares while other counters recorded less than 500,000 of daily shares traded, reflecting the increased liquidity of Letshego relative to other stocks.

Reflected by the strong rallies within the main board, was the positive gains made by the DCI during the quarter under review. All the 3 months recorded modest gains relative to other months during the quarter, with the highest monthly gain of 5% in May.


This was the only quarter where the DCI made positive m/m gains since the beginning of 2014. We have seen the uptrend of the DCI since the beginning of 2012 as it rose from 7,000 to end the quarter above the 10,500 points mark, portraying the vigorous growth achieved from most of the counters such as Sefalana, Sechaba and Chobe among others.

On a q/q basis the DCI leaped up by 10.3% (the 2nd highest in more than 4 years) as compared to the prior quarter where only 2% growth was registered. Wilderness was the largest gainer surging by 43% as investors were taking in their FY results which were characterized by 57% rise in PAT while its topline posted a 12% y/y increase.


However, the company released a cautionary statement, stating that the company has received a notice of intention to make an offer to acquire all the issued ordinary shares by Wine investments Limited though the cautionary was recently withdrawn.

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Gambling Authority tender dangles as a jittery lottery quandary

30th November 2020
SEFALANA MD: CHANDRA CHAUHAN

Lucrative and highly anticipated national lottery tender that saw several Batswana businessmen partnering to form a gambling consortium to pit against their South African counterparts, culminates into a big power gamble.

WeekendPost has had a chance to watch lottery showcase even before the anticipated and impending national lottery set-up launches. A lot has been a big gamble from the bidding process which is now set for the courts next year January following a marathon legal brawl involving the interest of the gambling fraternity in Botswana and South Africa.

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The uncertainty of getting the next meal in Botswana

30th November 2020
uncertainty of getting the next meal

Households representing more than half of Botswana’s population-mostly residing in rural areas- do not know where their next meal will come from, but neither do they take into consideration the quality and/or quantity of the food they consume.

This is according to the latest Prevalence of Food Insecurity in Botswana report which was done for the 2018/19 period and represents the state of food insecurity data even to this time.
The Prevalence of Food Insecurity was released by Statistics Botswana and it released results with findings that the results show that at national level 50.8 percent of the population in Botswana was affected by moderate to severe food insecurity in 2018/19, while 22.2 percent of the population was affected by severe food insecurity only.

According to the report, this translates to 27 percent of the population being food secure that is to say having adequate access to food in both quality and quantity. According to Statistician General, Burton Mguni, when explaining how the food data was compiled, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), is custodian of the “Prevalence of Undernourishment (PoU)” and “Prevalence of moderate or severe food insecurity in the population based on the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES)” SDG indicators, for leading FIES data analysis and the resultant capacity building.

“The FIES measures the extent of food insecurity at the household or individual level. The indicator provides internationally comparable estimates of the proportion of the population facing moderate to severe difficulties in accessing food. The FIES consists of eight brief questions regarding access to adequate food, and the questions are answered directly with a yes/no response. It (FIES) complements the existing food and nutrition security indicators such as Prevalence of Undernourishment.

According to the FIES, with increasing severity, the quantity of food consumed decreases as portion sizes are reduced and meals are skipped. At its most severe level, people are forced to go without eating for a day or more. The scale further reveals that the household’s experience of food insecurity may be characterized by uncertainty and anxiety regarding food access and compromising the quality of the diet and having a less balanced and more monotonous diet,” says Mguni.

The 50.8 percent of the population in Botswana which was affected by moderate to severe food insecurity are characterized as people experiencing moderate food insecurity and face uncertainties about their ability to obtain food. These people have been forced to compromise on the quality and/or quantity of the food they consume according to the report on food insecurity.

Those who experience severe food insecurity, the 22.2 percent of the population, are people who have typically run out of food and, at worst, gone a day (or days) without eating. According to the statistics, rural area population experienced moderate to severe food insecurity at 65 percent while urban villages were at 46.60 percent and cities/town were at 31.70 percent. Those experiencing the most extreme and severe insecurity were at rural areas making 33.10 percent while urban villages and towns were at 11.90 percent and 17.50 respectively.

According to a paper compiled by Sirak Bahta, Francis Wanyoike, Hikuepi Katjiuongua and Davis Marumo and published in December 2017, titled ‘Characterization of food security and consumption patterns among smallholder livestock farmers in Botswana,’ over 70 percent of Botswana’s population reside in rural areas, and majority (70%) relies on traditional/subsistence agriculture for their livelihoods.

The study set out to characterize the food security situation and food consumption patterns among livestock keepers in Botswana. “Despite the policy change, challenges still remain in ensuring that all persons and households have access to food at all times. For example, during an analysis of the impacts of rising international food prices for Botswana, BIDPA reported that food prices tended to be highest in the rural areas already disadvantaged by relatively low levels of income and high rates of unemployment,” said the study.

According to the paper, about 9 percent of households were found to be food insecure and this category of households included 6 percent of households that ranked poorly and 3 percent that were on the borderline according to the World Food Programme’s (WFP) definition of food security.

Media reports state that the World Bank has warned that disruption to production and supply chains could ‘spark a food security crisis’ in Africa, forecasting a fall in farm production of up to 7 percent, if there are restrictions to trade, and a 25 percent decline in food imports.

Food security in Botswana or food production was also attacked by the locust pandemic which swept out this country’s vegetation and plants. The locust is said to have contributed to 25 percent loss in production.

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Solid demand for diamonds towards the ‘gift’ season

30th November 2020
Diamonds

Global lockdown have been a thorn in diamonds having shiny sales, but a lot of optimism shows with the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, the precious stones will be bought with high volumes towards festive season. The diamond market is however warned of the resurgence of Covid-19 in key markets presents ongoing risks amid the presence and optimist about the new Covid-29 vaccines.

The latest findings published as De Beers Group’s latest Diamond Insight ‘Flash’ Report, which looks at the impact of the pandemic on relationships and engagements, has revealed that in the US that more couples than ever are buying diamond engagement rings. Bridal sales is mostly the primary source of diamond jewellery demand in recent months, De Beers said.

According to De Beers, interviews with independent jewellers around the US revealed that the rate of couples getting engaged has increased compared with the period when Covid-19 first had an impact in the US in the spring.

“In addition, despite challenging economic times, consumers were spending more than ever on diamond engagement rings – often upgrading in colour, cut and clarity, rather than size. Several jewellers speculated that with consumers spending less on elaborate weddings and/or honeymoons in the current environment, they had more to spend on choosing the perfect ring,” said De Beers.

According to De Beers, a national survey of 360 US women in serious relationships, undertaken in late October in collaboration with engagement and wedding website, The Knot. This survey is said to have found that the majority of respondents (54%) were thinking more about their engagement ring than the wedding itself (32%) or the honeymoon (15%), supporting jewellers’ hypothesis that engagement ring sales were benefiting from reduced wedding and travel budgets in light of Covid-19 restrictions.

When it came to researching engagement rings, online was by far the predominant channel for gaining ideas/inspiration at 86% of consumers surveyed, with 85% saying they had saved examples of styles they liked, according to De Beers. According to the survey, only a uarter of respondents said they had looked in-store at a physical location for design inspiration.

“For many couples, the pandemic has brought them even closer together, in some instances speeding up the path to engagement after forming a deeper connection while experiencing lockdown and its associated ups and downs as a partnership. Engagement rings are taking on even greater symbolism in this environment, with retailers reporting couples are prepared to invest more than usual, particularly due to budget reductions in other areas,” De Beers CEO Cleaver said.

According to De Beers Group, its Diamond Insight Flash Report series is focused on understanding the US consumer perspective in light of Covid-19 and monitoring how it evolves as the crisis evolves. Also, the company said, it is augmenting its existing research programme with additional consumer, retailer and supply chain touch-basis to understand the pain points and the opportunities for stakeholders across the diamond pipeline.

Demand for diamonds is as hard and resilient as the precious stone itself. De Beers pocketed US$ 450 million in its recently held ninth rough diamond sales cycle, and the company says it is more flexible approach to rough diamond sales during the ninth sales cycle of 2020, with the Sight event extended beyond its normal week-long duration.

“Steady demand for De Beers Group’s rough diamonds continued in the ninth sales cycle of the year, reflecting stable consumer demand for diamond jewellery at the retail level in the US and China, and expectations for reasonable demand to continue throughout the holiday season. However, the resurgence of Covid-19 infections in several consumer markets presents ongoing risks,” said De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver recently.

High expectations are on diamonds being a sentimental gift for holiday season or as the most fetished gift. However the ninth cycle was lower than the eighth which registered US$ 467 million. For the last year period which corresponds with the current one, De Beers managed to raise US$ 400.

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