Uchumi Supermarkets becomes third to cross-list on Kigali bourse

Monday October 14 2013

Rwanda’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of

Rwanda’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government Vincent Munyeshyaka rings the bell to mark the beginning of trading in Uchumi Shares at the Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE) witnessed by RSE chairman Dr. James Ndahiro (in glasses) and Uchumi chief executive officer Jonathan Ciano (right) 

By David Mugwe, The EastAfrican

Uchumi Supermarkets on Monday became the third company to cross-list its shares on Kigali bourse after Nation Media Group (NMG) and KCB Group.

The supermarkets chain shares started trading at the Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE), giving the company wider pool of potential investors from which it can raise capital.

The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) listed company now has visibility to potential customers in the Rwanda market where it also hopes to expand operations.

It is also seeking approval to cross-list its shares at the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) and Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) where it already has subsidiaries, a move that will further widen its pool of potential investors during its planned cash call.

“As our drive towards regional growth gains momentum, so has our desire to make Uchumi shares accessible to more stakeholders across the region,” said Jonathan Ciano, Uchumi’s chief executive officer.

Uchumi Supermarkets chain plans to sell 100 million shares to existing shareholders through a planned rights issue.

During the company’s 32nd annual general meeting in December last year, Mr Ciano in a presentation said that the super market chain was targeting to raise Ksh1.5 billion ($17.4 million), but at a later press conference said the amount to be raised will determined by the company’s expansion budget and the retailer’s market price at the time of issue.

“It is, therefore, timely and ideal that as we plan to set Uchumi branches in this market that we also empower investors here to stake a claim to the ownership of Uchumi, and all our East African Citizens should pride themselves for owing a piece of the supermarkets”, he said during Monday’s launch of trading in Kigali.

NMG, KCB Group, East African Breweries Limited (EABL), Kenya Airways and Jubilee Holdings which are primarily listed on the NSE are cross-listed on the USE and DSE.

Centum Investments is also cross-listed at the USE while Umeme, whose primary listing is the Kampala bourse, is cross-listed at the NSE.

In May this year Uchumi Supermarkets appointed Faida Investment Bank as the transaction advisor and sponsoring broker, Equity as the receiving bank, Hamilton Harrison & Mathews Advocates as the legal advisor and Ernst &Young as the reporting accountants.

The supermarkets chain profit after tax for the full year ended June 2013 jumped 30.31 per cent to Ksh357.01 million ($4.1 million) as at compared to Ksh273.97 million ($3.2 million) as at June 2012 despite a rise in costs, partly attributed to branch expansion.

The branch expansion, which saw the supermarket’s chain open new branches in Ongata Rongai in Nairobi, Natete in Kampala and the Eldoret Sugar Plaza resulted in an increase of customer numbers by 10 per cent to 24 million from 22 million.

However, despite the increase in the number of customers sales revenues rose by a marginal 3.23 per cent to Ksh14.36 billion ($167million) for the year ended June this year from Ksh13.91 billion ($165.2 million) for the year ended June last year reflecting the tough operating environments particularly in Kenya and Uganda.

As at the end of June this year, the company had 22 branches in Kenya, 5 in Uganda and 1 in Tanzania.

“Uchumi has, by this cross-listing, shown its confidence in our financial sector and the growth of our economy thus giving our people the opportunity to own a supermarket through the buying of Uchumi Supermarkets shares,” said Vincent Munyeshyaka Rwanda’s permanent secretary in the Ministry of Local Government.

The supermarket’s chain closed at Ksh21 ($0.247) on Monday at the NSE 9.95 per cent gain from Ksh19.10 ($0.222), its closing price at the end of last year.

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