BSE opens door to metshelo, societies and cooperatives

Thapelo Moribame
Thapelo Moribame

In a bid to increase returns for stakeholders, the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) is seeking to lure grouped investor communities existing as metshelo, societies or cooperatives to invest in the stock bourse.

Metshelo are traditional savings schemes in which members contribute funds on a monthly basis and share the returns in cash or kind on an agreed date. Being unofficial, however, many such cooperatives have fallen through the cracks in commercial bank products, often being forced to open corporate accounts and thus incur commercial charges incongruent with motshelo saving objective. Those that opt to save in one member's bank account, also find that the charges for the numerous deposits and withdrawals associated with the motshelo's activities draw high charges or the suspicion of banking officials.

However, there could be more sustainable route for these societies, if what was mulled over at recent seminar on investment is anything to go by. At an investment webinar last week, Head of Market Development at BSE, Thapelo Moribame, highlighted that investing in the stock market will allow metshelo and societies to diversify their capital holdings away from traditional uses of capital. She said investing in shares, bonds and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) will allow these groupings to enjoy stable and high returns. “Historically, stock markets have always offered high returns compared to savings accounts and fixed accounts. “By investing in stocks, these groups can potentially achieve better long-term growth for their funds,” she said. Moribame added that by investing in the stock exchange, these groupings will add to the growth of the economy as companies are better able to raise more capital in the stock exchange and create more value and growth in the economy.

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