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BSE Officially Grilled On Tumbling BTCL Share Prices

OAGENG BATENEGI
The product development manager at Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE), Kopano Bolokwe found himself in an uncomfortable situation when he had to answer to an emotional audience concerned over the tumbling BTCL share price.

Emotions erupted at a Finance and Risk Management convention held at travel lodge recently during a question and answer session where one of the attendants, veteran counsel, Sono Seisa asked Bolokwe to clear issues around media reports that investors who have lost money through the tumbling BTCL share price can sue the company. 

So far, media reports have suggested that BTCL is liable because of failure to disclose full information on the Botswana Privatisation Asset Holdings (BPAH).

Answering the questions, Bolokwe said he was not sure if the investors could sue.  The BSE official said he could also not attest to the validity of the media reports.  Bolokwe emphasised that if an investor feels they have been cheated, they can approach the company but was non-committal on the possibility of litigation.

He told Business Monitor on the sidelines of the convention that investors are always encouraged to seek all the necessary information before they make an investment. He added that it is also up to the investor to keep track of their investment once they have invested.

Having listed at P1 per share, BTCL  first moved northwards to as high as P1.30 but the stock has since taken a heavy knock ending last week’s trading at 85 thebe per share.

When Business Monitor asked Bolokwe about the alleged hype apparently created by the

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political leadership for mileage over the BTCL shares then, the BSE development manager said he could not attest to the claims. Bolokwe said as the BSE they are a fully independent regulatory and developmental body that does its work diligently without any political interference.

However, the issue of the tumbling BTCL shares on the BSE listings, created a lot of interest from delegates at the convention with some even going to the extent of saying that investors have been sold a dummy.  Afitile Puso, an actuarial analyst said according to him, the investors were sold a stake rather than growth in the BTCL shares.

The media last month quoted market analysts saying BTCL did not disclose fully on the functioning of BPAH, which was supposed to act as a market maker to protect the share price as well as facilitate for shares to remain in the hands of Batswana.

The media stated that instead, three months after BTCL listing the market maker was yet to start functioning.

The media said market analysts feel retail investors on the BTCL, most of whom as it was reported, bought the shares for speculative purposes, now want to dispose of their stock. 

The problem, however, was that they could not find buyers and this has led to the share price nose-diving, media reports disclosed.



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