Securities legislation underway
GABORONE - Government is drafting a securities legislation that will replace the existing Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) Act in order to rationalise the regulatory structures governing capital markets including transforming the BSE from a statutory body to a company.
Assistant Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Mr Charles Tibone told a Southern Africa Private Equity (SAPE) roundtable in Gaborone recently that the legislation will pave way for the BSE to be demutualised in future.
The country's exchange controls have long been liberalised and investors are able to repatriate profits and dividends without any hindrances.
He stated that private equity and venture capital comprised investing in the equity of unlisted and privately held companies, in pursuit of higher than average returns adding that the investment was distinct from investing in listed equities and debt, and was emerging as an alternative source of funding to develop enterprises in Africa.
Mr Tibone noted that mobilising capital in Africa to make more investment in the continent would be advantageous in attracting further Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). He added that, domestic capital will be similarly mobilised for investing in ventures within Africa including local property, infrastructure projects, as well as other major projects that are of strategic national interest.He said Botswana has embarked on several financial sector legislative reforms aimed at aligning the financial services sector with international best practices as well as strengthening the soundness of the sector's regulatory environment.
Mr Tibone also noted that Botswana is a member of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG) whose main purpose is to fight money laundering and the financing of terrorism, both in the region and internationally.
He said Botswana also passed the Financial Intelligence Act, the Anti-Money Laundering legislation in 2009, which establishes a Financial Intelligence Agency responsible for receiving, analysing and disseminating suspicious financial transactions to relevant law enforcement agencies.
The Assistant minister further told the roundtable that government has responded to the challenge of diversifying the economy by embarking on an integrated economic diversification strategy. The strategy targets industrial and services sectors that have the potential to contribute significantly to economic activity in the country.
He said Botswana share a common noble vision of mobilising African institutional savings to increase investments into Africa and into Botswana. Furthermore, the Botswana government continues to make progress in creating a competitive policy framework, to support growth of the international investment funds in Botswana.
Mr Tibone stated that SAPE roundtable will expose Botswana, and indeed the SADC region, to international investors and highlight important players in attracting international investors, seeking investment opportunities in Africa.