Rwanda Readies First IPO in Two Years With I&M Bank Unit Listing

Rwanda’s Stock Exchange plans to have its first listing since June 2011 this year with I&M Bank’s local unit, Banque Commerciale du Rwanda Ltd., Capital Market Authority Chief Executive Officer Robert Mathue said.

The Rwandan government will sell its 20 percent stake in Banque Commercial du Rwanda on the market, he said in an interview yesterday in Kigali. He declined to give the amount the stake may be worth. The bourse also plans to begin trading corporate and Treasury bonds this year, Mathue said.

“We expect Banque Commerciale du Rwanda to list on the market and other companies that the government still has shares in,” Mathue said. Other listings are being discussed “but due to disclosure restrictions, we can’t mention the companies.”

The bourse was established in 2005 and has had four equity listings since the first in June 2009, split evenly between Rwandan and Kenyan companies. It has one corporate bond, a 1 billion Rwandan francs ($1.59 million) 10-yr security by Banque Commerciale du Rwanda, and 3-year and 5-year Treasury bonds worth a total of 5 billion francs, according to its website. The market’s capitalization is $1.9 billion.

Rwanda’s government plans to raise 10 billion francs by the end of the 2014-2015 financial year by divesting 13 state companies, according to a copy of the prospectus for the country’s debut Eurobond. Its sale of stakes in Bank of Kigali Ltd. and Bralirwa SA via IPO gave the bourse its only local listings, which account for 99 percent of trading, according to the bond prospectus.

Nairobi-based companies are also planning to follow peers such as Kenya Commercial Bank Ltd. and Nation Media Group Ltd. in cross-listing on the Rwandan bourse, Mathue said.

“We have received applications from a number of Kenyan companies,” he said, including Uchumi Supermarkets Ltd., Equity Bank Ltd. and KenolKobil Ltd. All three either have operations in Rwanda or plan to expand there. Officials at the companies were not available for comment when called at their offices.

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