Gaborone- Minister of Finance Peggy Serame has lauded the acquisition of BancABC Botswana by renowned Nigerian Bank Access bank which has operations in about 10 countries worldwide.
Serame said the acquisition is a clear sign of confidence by investors in the Botswana economy and also opens avenues for the local folk to acquire shares in the new merger.
“Access Bank is one of the largest banks in Nigeria and one of Africa’s leading banks by customer base. It has a vast network of more than 600 branches and service outlets, spanning across three continents, in over 10 countries with millions of customers.
“Further, the Bank employs over twenty thousand people in its operations in Nigeria, Sub-Saharan Africa and the United Kingdom, with representative offices in China, Lebanon, India and the UAE. From this portfolio, one is able to have an appreciation of the Bank’s credentials,” she said.
Serame said by integrating Access Bank’s technological infrastructure, including its digital offerings and its corporate and SME capabilities, BancABC is well positioned to continue on its positive trajectory that we have witnessed in recent years.
“Moreover, to the extent that BancABC is already a listed entity on the BSE, this is an opportunity for Batswana to share in the wealth by investing in the company through the purchasing of shares and thereby promoting citizen economic empowerment and inclusion,” she said.
The Botswana Minister reiterate that , the acquisition of the BancABC by Access Bank constitutes foreign direct investment, which they are grateful of, especially given the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the domestic economy.
“At a macro-level, it is imperative that, collectively, we promote a conducive environment for companies to do business in Botswana with Batswana. The underlying benefits of such forms of investment are unlimited in nature as we work towards increasing productivity, creating jobs, developing infrastructure, promoting innovation, fostering skills transfer and introducing technological advancements that can contribute towards the growth of Botswana economy,” Serame said.
She said that country’s Government is committed to provide a conducive environment for the financial sector as a key enabler for overall economic development.
“For instance the BSE was designated as a Self-Regulatory Organisation in 2020 and the Securities Act is being amended to align with international best practice. In line with our national priorities espoused in the Mid Term Review of NDP 11, Economic Recovery and Transformation Plan (ERTP) and the Reset Agenda, we will continue to ensure the integrity of our financial system, promoting digitalization and public sector reforms,” she said.
She said the BSE continues to serve as a barometer of economic health in Botswana.
“A well-run stock market gives the right signals to the international market for inward investment. In this regard, it is gratifying to witness the strides made by the BSE in providing an avenue for companies to raise capital for development.
“These developments from listed companies account for a significant contribution to the economy of Botswana. I am reliably informed that foreign participation in the BSE accounted for 40% to 60% of total turnover in the last five years on yearly basis. This is testimony to the fact that the exchange is able to attract diversity of investors across the world,” she said.