BSE calls for opening up of BTCL shares

Locked value: BTCL share ownership has been restricted to citizens since listing in 2016 PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Locked value: BTCL share ownership has been restricted to citizens since listing in 2016 PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO

The Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) has advised government to consider easing the limitations on trading of Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL) shares, a move that could improve the performance of the counter.

BTCL shares trade under an ownership restriction policy imposed by the government as a condition of the 2016 listing. The restriction means only Batswana can own the shares, an effort by government to empower citizens.

Since listing in 2016 as part of privatisation by government, BTCL shares only traded above their listing price of P1 up to mid-2018 and since then, have plumbed lows such as 68 thebe. The counter has the BSE’s heaviest concentration of retail investors, whose trading activities are characterised by frequent sell-offs for various reasons, including freeing up cash and sometimes, responding to social media speculation. The absence of dividends in some reporting periods since the pandemic has also driven some investors to shed their stock, while COVID-19 also squeezed other shareholders into cashing in their holdings.


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