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.
This century is always looking at improving new super high speed technology to make life easier. On the other hand, beckoning as an emerging fierce reversal force to equally match or dominate this life enhancing super new tech, comes swift human adversaries which seem to have come to make living on earth even more difficult.
The recent discovery of a pandemic, Covid-19, which moves at a pace of unimaginable and unpredictable proportions; locking people inside homes and barring human interactions with its dreaded death threat, is currently being felt.
Member of Parliament for Kanye North, Thapelo Letsholo has cautioned Government against excessive borrowing and poorly managed debt levels.
He was speaking in Parliament on Tuesday delivering Parliament’s Finance Committee report after assessing a motion that sought to raise Government Bond program ceiling to P30 billion, a big jump from the initial P15 Billion.
Government Investment Account (GIA) which forms part of the Pula fund has been significantly drawn down to finance Botswana’s budget deficits since 2008/09 Global financial crises.
The 2009 global economic recession triggered the collapse of financial markets in the United States, sending waves of shock across world economies, eroding business sentiment, and causing financiers of trade to excise heightened caution and hold onto their cash.
The ripple effects of this economic catastrophe were mostly felt by low to middle income resource based economies, amplifying their vulnerability to external shocks. The diamond industry which forms the gist of Botswana’s economic make up collapsed to zero trade levels across the entire value chain.
The Upstream, where Botswana gathers much of its diamond revenue was adversely impacted by muted demand in the Midstream. The situation was exacerbated by zero appetite of polished goods by jewelry manufacturers and retail outlets due to lowered tail end consumer demand.
This resulted in sharp decline of Government revenue, ballooned budget deficits and suspension of some developmental projects. To finance the deficit and some prioritized national development projects, government had to dip into cash balances, foreign reserves and borrow both externally and locally.
Much of drawing was from Government Investment Account as opposed to drawing from foreign reserve component of the Pula Fund; the latter was spared as a fiscal buffer for the worst rainy days.
Consequently this resulted in significant decline in funds held in the Government Investment Account (GIA). The account serves as Government’s main savings depository and fund for national policy objectives.
However as the world emerged from the 2009 recession government revenue graph picked up to pre recession levels before going down again around 2016/17 owing to challenges in the diamond industry.
Due to a number of budget surpluses from 2012/13 financial year the Government Investment Account started expanding back to P30 billion levels before a series of budget deficits in the National Development Plan 11 pushed it back to decline a decline wave.
When the National Development Plan 11 commenced three (3) financial years ago, government announced that the first half of the NDP would run at budget deficits.
This as explained by Minister of Finance in 2017 would be occasioned by decline in diamond revenue mainly due to government forfeiting some of its dividend from Debswana to fund mine expansion projects.
Cumulatively since 2017/18 to 2019/20 financial year the budget deficit totaled to over P16 billion, of which was financed by both external and domestic borrowing and drawing down from government cash balances. Drawing down from government cash balances meant significant withdrawals from the Government Investment Account.
The Government Investment Account (GIA) was established in accordance with Section 35 of the Bank of Botswana Act Cap. 55:01. The Account represents Government’s share of the Botswana‘s foreign exchange reserves, its investment and management strategies are aligned to the Bank of Botswana’s foreign exchange reserves management and investment guidelines.
Government Investment Account, comprises of Pula denominated deposits at the Bank of Botswana and held in the Pula Fund, which is the long-term investment tranche of the foreign exchange reserves.
In June 2017 while answering a question from Bogolo Kenewendo, the then Minister of Finance & Economic Development Kenneth Mathambo told parliament that as of June 30, 2017, the total assets in the Pula Fund was P56.818 billion, of which the balance in the GIA was P30.832 billion.
Kenewendo was still a back bench specially elected Member of Parliament before ascending to cabinet post in 2018. Last week Minister of Finance & Economic Development, Dr Thapelo Matsheka, when presenting a motion to raise government local borrowing ceiling from P15 billion to P30 Billion told parliament that as of December 2019 Government Investment Account amounted to P18.3 billion.
Dr Matsheka further told parliament that prior to financial crisis of 2008/9 the account amounted to P30.5 billion (41 % of GDP) in December of 2008 while as at December 2019 it stood at P18.3 billion (only 9 % of GDP) mirroring a total decline by P11 billion in the entire 11 years.
Back in 2017 Parliament was also told that the Government Investment Account may be drawn-down or added to, in line with actuations in the Government’s expenditure and revenue outturns. “This is intended to provide the Government with appropriate funds to execute its functions and responsibilities effectively and efficiently” said Mathambo, then Minister of Finance.
Acknowledging the need to draw down from GIA no more, current Minister of Finance Dr Matsheka said “It is under this background that it would be advisable to avoid excessive draw down from this account to preserve it as a financial buffer”
He further cautioned “The danger with substantially reduced financial buffers is that when an economic shock occurs or a disaster descends upon us and adversely affects our economy it becomes very difficult for the country to manage such a shock”