from ODIRILE TOTENG in Gaborone, Botswana
GABORONE, (CAJ News) – IN a decline linked to the country’s economic downturn following the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) has recorded a 14,1 percent dip in turnover to P3,6 billion (about US$331 million) in 2020.
Turnover for the previous year was P4,2 billion.
BSE noted the performance of local equities reflected, to a larger extent, the trajectory of the local economy.
“The operational performances of listed companies have been adversely affected by the restrictions imposed to contain the virus, among others, and this translated into lower trading activity as investors rather preferred to trade cautiously,” BSE stated.
Botswana’s real gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter came out at 2,7 percent before a very sharp contraction of 24 percent in the second quarter.
Third quarter GDP registered a decline of 6 percent.
Overall, the economy is forecast to register an decline of 8,9 percent in 2020 before rebounding to 7,7 percent in 2021.
According to the latest updates from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the world economy is projected to shrink by 4,4 percent largely because of the pandemic.
Amid a weaker global output, falling revenues and widening fiscal deficits mainly in an effort to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is set to register a contraction of 3 percent.
“The outlook for 2021 is extremely hard to quantify, but forecasts of the economic downturn point to a very challenging period for the national economy,” BSE stated.
Botswana, the world’s fourth largest diamond producer (and second in Africa) has confirmed 18 630 cases of COVID-19, including 88 deaths.
– CAJ News