Botswana telecommunications company struggles with investor confidence

Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL) says it is planning to automate its systems and repositioning itself to cater to all customers’communications needs, the company disclosed this week.

The company, which has just few months on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) is trying to boost company morale and improve its customer services amid complaints that its poor performance on the stock exchange is linked to poor undisclosed customer services, sudden departure of British Managing Director Paul Taylor, and it dropping share price on the bourse.

The dropping share price on the bourse to P 0. 85 (about US$ 0.10)  from P 1. 25 (about US$ 92) has shaken investors on BTCL shares. The company besides says the drop in the share price cannot be major concern to poor performance, but is on a rebound to improve services to “catch up” and hopefully clip the drop in its share price.

Since listing about three months back, BTCL share price has been a concern since it remained below the initial listing price for most of the time. The company has also facing robust competition from local mobile companies French owned, Orange, Orange Botswana and South African’s MTN owned, Mascom Wireless.

The company has now pledged to address slow internet speeds (ADSL), in a bid to reclaim its glory days before the entrance of mobile service providers, as well as improve turnaround times to maintenance and service provisioning calls.

Public Relations manager at BTCL Golekanye Molaoisi said the company now will  improve to provide speedier and more effective service to customers.

“Furthermore, BTCL structures and fundamentals are robust and the Company will continue to implement its growth strategy as well as capitalise on its unique positioning in the market,” Molapisi said in an interview with Botswana media this week.

The departure Taylor as Managing Director (MD) is said to have affected investors’ confidence considering his immense contribution to the new growth
strategy post listing.

As BTCL continues with its crucial transformation, acting Managing Director Anthony Masunga has come under the spotlight and pressure to see how well he put to stop the falling investor confidence on the company share price and  make the company become a truly customer centric organisation.

The departure of Taylor was observed by pundits as a move reckoned to be happening in the middle of a vital interplay regarding the transitioning period of the recently listed BTCL,  considering the occurrence as one of the ‘unusual’ string of significant developments that occurred shortly after the listing of BTCL.

Prior to the expiry of Taylor’s contract in June, BTCL’s lowest share price had reached P1.10 (about US$ 0. 15) and the highest at P1.25 (about US$ 92).  This indicated price changes from the original price of P1.00 (about US$ 0. 87)  from which investors had bought the company stock.  BTCL’s share plunged to its lowest price of P0.85 and the highest price still maintained at P1. 25 (about US$ 92).

The communications company however remained strong that the movements in share price is not to conclusively linked to the departure of Taylor, but a perception to that regard appears to exist. Molapisi proclaimed, adding that… “the future outlook is positive and the company is well-resourced and adequately capitalised to remain profitable.”

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