Botswana Building Society (“BBS”), headquartered in Gaborone is the leading provider of property finance in the country. BBS is in the process of demutualising as a Society to become a Company limited by shares.
The decision to demutualise received support from the majority of shareholders (99.97%) at the Special General Meeting held on 24 August 2017 in Gaborone. BBS expects to acquire the Conversion Certificate from the Registrar of Building Societies and the Certificate of Incorporation from the Registrar of Companies by November 2017. BBS will apply for a banking licence in January 2018 and expects to become a fully-fledged commercial bank by end of June 2018.
BBS shareholders have an option of:
Buying equity or ordinary shares in BBS Ltd using the proceeds of their share products
Retaining the proceeds of their share products as term deposits
Converting their shares into debentures classified as tier 2 instrument (only top 10 indefinite period shareholders)
In parallel to applying for the banking licence, BBS will register their shares on the Botswana Stock Exchange (OTC board) to trade their shares as unlisted. A decision may be taken at a later stage to list on the Botswana Stock Exchange.
The demutualisation process will bring about the following benefits:
Being more competitive
Increasing its products and services
Becoming part of the clearing system and thus no longer relying on commercial banks to collect payments on its behalf
Having Visa or Mastercard services
Improving shareholder value
Creating more employment opportunities
BBS will continue operating the business of a building society as per BBS transition legislation until the banking licence has been acquired to operate as a fully-fledged commercial bank. Post conversion, BBS will be the largest domestically owned bank in Botswana with a balance sheet size of BWP 4 billion (approx. USD 350 million).