7 February 2013

Rwanda: Two Kenyan Companies to List On the Local Bourse

At least two more companies will float shares on the Rwanda Stock Exchange this year, a development that will boost the youngest stock market in the region, the Rwanda Capital Markets Authority (RCMA) has said.

Launched in January 2011 and operated through Rwanda Capital Market Advisory Council, Rwanda Stock Exchange boasts of two local companies, Bralirwa and Bank of Kigali, as well as the two cross-listed regional firms; Nation Media Group and Kenya Commercial Bank.

"Kenya's Uchumi Supermarket and Equity Bank have both indicated that they will list on the local stock exchange, and we are also targeting other well-performing companies in Rwanda like Serena Kigali Hotel," Robert Mathu, the RCMA executive director, said in an interview yesterday.

He added that they were wooing other regional companies to float shares on the bourse.

"Although we don't know exactly when they will come, we are optimistic it is this year. We had targeted four companies, but two of them, such as Kenol Kobil which had plans to list, will delay because they were changing ownership," added Mathu.

With increasing interest from companies operating in the region, RCMA is prepared to ensure that at least the number of listed companies increases to six, he further explained.

Mathu revealed that they have automated the local stock market to integrate it with the rest of the region.

"It will, therefore, be easy to trade those listed securities across the region," he explained.

The region is currently holding talks to implement a single regional stock exchange market, a move that will improve the movement of capital in the East African Community trade bloc.

Government has raised Rwf17.4b from the sale of its shares in Bralirwa and Rwf16.6b from Bank of Kigali.

Bralirwa had 128.5 million shares listed on the bourse, as at January 31, representing 25 per cent of the company's share capital. The firm had been trading at an average of Rwf136 per share and has been oversubscribed at 274 per cent.

Bank of Kigali's number of shares offered increased from 20 per cent to 25 per cent, representing a jump of available shares from 133.4 million to 166.8 million shares.

The bank's share costs Rwf125 and the subscription level is at 285 per cent.

The local stock market is, however, still facing a challenge of low participation of Rwandans, which affects its performance.

"The local people are less receptive and ignorant about trading in shares. This has affected the growth of the market," Mathu said.

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