Botswana bourse chief warns of economic challenges ahead

Source: Xinhua| 2021-01-22 00:27:34|Editor: huaxia

GABORONE, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) has anticipated the country's economy will experience more turbulence this year, as the impact of COVID-19 pandemic continues to unravel.

"The outlook for 2021 is extremely hard to quantify, but forecasts of the economic downturn point to a very challenging period for the national economy," said Thapelo Tsheole, BSE chief executive officer, on Thursday.

With so many challenges experienced in the past year, Tsheole highlighted that counters and equities did not perform well last year in Botswana, indicating a weak economy.

"Stock markets are usually regarded as a barometer of the economy, and it is not surprising that the Domestic Company Index (DCI) declined by 8.2 percent in 2020, which seems to mirror the anticipated decline of 8.9 percent in the national economy in 2020," said Tsheole.

However, 2020 ended without any new equity listings for BSE despite activity in the equity primary market, and in the fixed income market in terms of new bond listings.

"We credit this level of activity to our efforts of sensitizing the market and issuers as to how companies can utilise the stock exchange during and post-COVID-19 pandemic, which were carried out by way of a well-publicised paper and through virtual interactions especially in the second half of the year," said Tsheole.

Tsheole is optimistic that the various innovations implemented in 2020 such as a renewed website and a new MobileApp, and the progress BSE made towards introducing the new Central Securities Depository (CSD) system and an upgrade will spur BSE operations.

"These technological infrastructure developments will significantly transform the landscape going forward, and we equally expect that they will contribute materially to the bottom line," said Tsheole. Enditem