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Rwandan bank ends NSE listing drought :: Kenya

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Kenya’s capital market hopes the regional listing of Bank of Kigali (BK Group) shares will be the turning point for a tough year.

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The Nairobi Securities Exchange has seen declining trading and attempts by Express Kenya, Unga Group and KenolKobil to leave the bourse this year.

Bank of Kigali, which raised Sh7 billion through a rights issue earlier this year, will be the first Rwandan company to tap the Kenyan market for capital to boost its operations.

“The issuance of the Bank of Kigali coming into the market with a very strong performance in Rwanda is making a very clear statement that even in a slightly declining market they see huge potential for unlocking liquidity and attracting investors in the Kenyan market,” said Capital Markets Authority Chief Executive Paul Muthaura.

“They came and listed here and the very fact that they have a significant international investment portion in the Sh7 billion they raised within Kenya sends a very key message for us.”

Bank of Kigali CEO Diane Karusi said the combination of capital raising and cross-listing was a good sign for regional integration.

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Some of the Kenyan companies to undertake cross-listing in the region include East African Breweries, Equity Bank, Jubilee Holdings, Umeme, Centum Investments, Kenya Airways, Kenya Commercial Bank and Nation Media Group.

Established in 1966, BK Group is Rwanda’s largest lender in assets with operations across banking, insurance and investments.

It recorded a 14 per cent increase in 2017 net earnings to Sh4 billion and stands as Rwanda’s biggest bank by asset base with 79 outlets.

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The company said yesterday that existing shareholders exercised 103.6 million rights out of the 222.2 million units available in the issue, with the balance of 118.6 million untaken rights — known as rump shares — sold mainly to qualified institutional investors.

Some 146.2 million shares are being allocated on the Rwanda Stock Exchange with the balance of 76.1 million going to the Nairobi bourse.

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