Rwanda: Bourse Set to Open

Nairobi — The board of Rwanda's proposed Stock Exchange is traversing the region's bourses ahead of its own launch, expected early next year.

Executive director, Mr. Robert Mathu, told East African Business Week in Nairobi last week that the tour was to expose the members on capital market operations in the region as well as to understand at what levels of development other markets are.

"This is one of the ways in which they'll own the project with confidence and help us integrate the Rwanda Stock Exchange (to bourses) around East Africa," he said.

The team visited the Nairobi Stock Exchange and witnessed last week's high profile issue of the PTA Bank's Ksh1 billion (US$15 million) bond at the exchange.

They also visited the Central Bank of Kenya to acquaint themselves with its operations as well as other institutions, brokerage firms and investment banks in Nairobi.

The PTA Bank bond issue was targeted at raising capital from fund managers and institutional investors such as insurance firms and financial investors.

"I think that we should issue a bond to PTA in Kigali," remarked Dr. James Ndahiro, one of the team members.

Others were David Kuwana, Emmanuel Hategeka, Yvone Mukankuranga, Richard Mugisha, an investment lawyer and Celestine Rwabukumba, the operations director.

The team later left for Dar es Salaam and Kampala where they would study the operations of the respective bourses.

First proposed way back in 2004, the bourse has taken a while after financial experts advised the country did not have the prerequisites for implementing a stock exchange market.

A couple of Rwandan companies have shown interest in listing at the while a number of Kenyan firms have also said they will cross list when it is established.

Rwanda is one of the countries in the region with the fastest economic growth rates but the lack of a stock exchange means much business can only access commercial banks' loans which attract high interest rates.

The new bourse will have to contend with more established ones in the region, which include the robust Nairobi Stock Exchange.

Others are the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange and Uganda Securities Exchange.

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