Rwanda: Two Firms Set to List on Rwanda Bourse

Two more companies are in the process of joining the Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE) currently hosting nine companies, five of which are cross-listed.

RSE chief executive Celestin Rwabukumba told The EastAfrican that the approval process for the local firms from the industrial sector to sell shares to the public is at an advanced stage.

South African healthcare focused investment firm RH Bophelo Ltd cross-listed on the RSE a month ago, on June 1.

The firm is primarily listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

"We have just had a cross-listing from South Africa in early June. I expect to see more companies come to the market. We have four transactions in the pipeline this year, of which two are at advanced stages in terms of approvals. These two companies are ready and can come onto the market at any time," said Mr Rwabukumba. "The year has not been that bad for us in terms of activities and transactions."

However, he said investors are likely to be cautious with the stockmarket because of the Covid-19 pandemic that has caused foreigners to sell off their investments in emerging markets with others opting to shift their money to bonds.

"There has been activity in the fixed income segment, while in the equity market there have also been trades but not as much. Going forward, it will depend on how this pandemic behaves and how fast economic activities pick up," he said.

Data from the RSE shows that equity turnover on the Rwandan bourse for the first six months (January-June 16) of the year declined by 84.72 per cent to Rwf384.94 million ($398,813) compared with Rwf2.51 billion ($2.6 million) in the same period last year. The volume of shares traded fell by 58.15 per cent to 4.92 million, from 11.76 million shares in the same period last year.

However, bond turnover more than doubled to Rwf12.24 billion ($12.68 million) from Rwf5.95 billion ($6.16 million.

Since the first case of coronavirus infection was reported in Rwanda on March 16, to June 16, equity turnover on the RSE declined by 96.48 per cent from Rwf1.38 billion ($1.42 million) to Rwf48.49 million ($50,237) while the volume of share traded declined by 89.56 per cent to 597,500 from 5.72 million in the same period. Bond turnover increased 93.01 per cent to Rwf3.57 billion ($3.69 million) from Rwf1.85 billion ($1.91 million) and the volume of bonds traded rose by 93.44 per cent, from 1.78 billion to 3.46 billion.

"Foreign investors have been a bit cautious in the market because they are worried about the governments' response on the Covid-19 pandemic on the fiscal side and how governments are going to manage the situation and the lockdown," said Vinita Kotedia, an analyst at EFG Hermes Investment Bank.

Rwanda has nine listed firms of which four, Equity, KCB, Nation Media Group and Uchumi, are cross-listed from Kenya while RH Bophelo Ltd (RHP) is cross-listed from South Africa.

Local firms listed on the RSE include I&M Bank (Rwanda), Bank of Kigali (BoK), Bralirwa and Crystal Telecom.

Kenya has the most developed stockmarket in the region with about 65 firms listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) while Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda have eight, 28 and 17 listed firms respectively.

East African countries still remain the most expensive markets for stock investors in the continent with a bulk of the trading costs related to brokerage fees, according to a new study.

A study by the global financial investment advisory firm RisCura shows that Uganda and Rwanda have overtaken Tanzania as countries with the highest stock trading costs in the region with Kenyan bourse being the cheapest.

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