The Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL)’s continues to recover from a recent drop to an all-time low on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE).
Last Monday, BTCL sank to 84 thebe, the lowest level it has recorded since listing in 2016. This was after its retail investor heavy registry cashed out after the payment of the interim dividends of 3.57 thebe on February 14.
From that level, however, BTCL has since added two thebe and by Tuesday, was trading at 86 thebe, still the second worst performer on the BSE for the year to date.
BTCL started the year trading at 95 thebe and has thus far shed about 9.5%, a pattern of trading analysts say is related to the strong presence of retail investors on its books. Retail (individual) investors are known for impulse trading decisions which include cashing out part or all of their holdings to raise funds for school-fees, holidays and others.
The BTCL has lobbied government to open up its shares for trading, rather than the current arrangement where trades are restricted to citizens. The Corporation’s managing director, Anthony Masunga previously told Mmegi that the restriction of trades to citizens was limiting the amount of value that could be unlocked in BTCL shares.
“As much as we appreciate the structure of our shareholding, we think there’s more that can be done to help,” he said.
“A lot of value has been locked up. A lot of value is locked out.
“This may not have been anticipated because we were trying out with BTCL, trying out a structure as the first, but with time, maybe some of these corrections will be made.
“By carrying on with the current structure, we are disadvantaging the same Batswana that this transaction wanted to empower because there’s no capital appreciation.
“Batswana should be winning on dividends and capital appreciation.”