Bank of Kigali Attracts Bids for Three Times Shares Offered

Bank of Kigali Ltd., Rwanda’s biggest lender by assets, received offers for more than three times the amount of shares on sale in its initial public offering, Finance Minister John Rwangombwa said.

“We had applicants from all over the country and all over the region,” Rwangombwa told reporters today in Kigali, the capital. “It shows the appetite is far bigger than what we are able to offer to the market.”

Bank of Kigali said in June it would sell 300 million shares at 125 Rwanda francs each to raise 37.5 billion francs ($63 million). The stock will be listed on the Rwanda Stock Exchange on Aug. 29.

The initial public offering is Rwanda’s second, after Heineken NV’s Rwandan unit, Brassieries et Limonaderies du Rwanda SA, became the first company in the East African country to hold an IPO before its listing on the Rwandan Stock Exchange.

Rwanda’s government plans to sell shares in six companies over the next three years as part of a plan to attract foreign investors to the East African country, the Capital Market Advisory Council said in April. Among the companies preparing to list are MTN Rwanda, a unit of MTN Group Ltd., Africa’s biggest mobile-phone company; Commercial Bank of Rwanda; Sonarwa Insurance and other businesses partly owned by the government.

The funds raised by Bank of Kigali will be used to expand branches, improve electronic-banking technology and to help fund government programs, Managing Director James Gatera said today.

“This will put us in a position to be able to lend to big projects that are coming up,” he said, without elaborating.

Rwanda doubled the size of its economy in the nine years to 2010 as it recovers from a 1994 genocide in which 800,000 mainly ethnic Tutsis died.

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