Bank of Kigali gets green light to list on NSE

Monday May 21 2018

Bank of Kigali headquarters in Kigali. The

Bank of Kigali headquarters in Kigali. The Rwandan lender is to cross list on the Nairobi Securities Exchange. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA | NATION 

By KABONA ESIARA
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Bank of Kigali, whose shares are already trading in Rwanda, plans to list stock on the Nairobi Securities Exchange in the second half of this year as part of a drive to raise up to $70 million for investment.

The bank’s shareholders on Friday approved the cross-listing, which if successful, will make it the first Rwandan company to tap into the regional capital markets.

Founded 51 years ago, Bank of Kigali is the biggest lender in Rwanda by assets and it operates 79 outlets and an insurance business. Its shares were listed on the Rwandan stock exchange in 2011.

“We have made a decision to raise additional capital in the neighbourhood of about $60-70 million in the second half of the year both domestically in Rwanda and internationally on the capital markets,” Marc Holtzman, the chairman, told shareholders.

He said some of the shares would be offered on the Nairobi bourse, which is the biggest in East Africa.

“On the average day the turnover in US dollars on the Kigali stock exchange is 20,000, in Nairobi it’s 7 million,” he said.

Technology systems

Diane Karusisi, the bank’s chief executive, said $10-20 million of the funds to be raised by the bank would be invested in technology systems for the bank, to allow mobile phone-based lending, and in its insurance business.

The bank would also boost its lending capability, she added.

“We need to play a huge role in giving more loans to projects in the country like the construction of new Bugesera International Airport,” she said.

The lender is also holding talks with Mauritius’ biggest insurance firm, Swan, with a view to sell a 30 per cent stake in its insurance business to the Mauritian company. Bank of Kigali’s pretax profit rose 14 per cent last year to Rwf34.2 billion ($39.3 million).

Rights issue

The bank also plans a rights issue in October,  in which it expects to issue 200 million new shares to its shareholders. This new capital is expected to increase the shareholders’ equity from around $140 million to $200 million.

While the bank has not got regulatory approvals from capital markets and banking sector regulators in Kenya and Rwanda, the management has started marketing the shares. The EastAfrican understands that Mr Holtzman and Ms Karusisi have been in Nairobi wooing institutional investors.

The bank’s stock has stagnated at Rwf290 ($0.33) per share for the past two months.

“The daily trading value on RSE is 24,000. In Nairobi it is $7 million,” Mr Holtzman said.

The bank, Rwanda’s largest by assets, made a net profit of Rwf23.3 billion ($27.3 million) in 2017. The Rwanda government holds over 29 per cent stake while Rwanda Social Security Board holds over 25 per cent.

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