Big plans for Rwanda capital market, including first local public offer

The Rwandan capital markets are set for growth in 2010, including plans for a first local initial public offer (IPO) and developing the Rwandan stock exchange. In an interview with East Africa Business Week (www.busiweek.com), the Executive Director of the Rwanda Capital Market Advisory Council (www.cmac.org.rw) Mr. Robert Mathu outlined what to expect.
The first public offering of shares could come “very soon”, he said: “We are working on BRALIRWA and it will come very soon because it is a big company and it will meet all requirements. However, with small companies, I am looking at two years.” Brasseries et Limonaderies du Rwanda (www.bralirwa.com) is the only brewer and estimated to have 95% market share, as well as the Coca Cola franchise. It is owned 70% by international Heineken Group and 30% by the Rwandan Government. According to previous reports, the Government wants to sell 25% to the public and 5% to Heineken, but was examining applications to be the transaction adviser and sponsoring broker.
Other future transactions could include Government selling shares in cellphone company MTN Rwanda (www.mtn.co.rw) and insurance company Sonarwa (www.sonarwa.co.rw), which is estimated by Government to have 75% of all insurance premiums.
The Rwandan Government has also said that it wants to sell off its shares in other profitable firms but Mr Mathu says these companies are not in a hurry to go public: “Many of them may not have all the requirements because they have not bothered. They have had no reason in the past to try to meet the requirements. For example, one of the basic requirements is that a company must provide audited financial statements. In Rwanda, companies used to prepare accounts only to convince the taxman that they are fine. However, this is not enough for us; we have to see what accounting system they are using, the quality of accountancy and their corporate social responsibility.
Rwanda is framing the capital market through 3 pieces of legislation: 1) The law establishing the future Capital Market Authority; 2) A law regulating capital markets; and 3) A law regulating the Collective Investment Schemes (CIS). The market is waiting for a law to split the Rwanda Stock Exchange from CMAC, which established the Rwandan Over-The-Counter market 2 years ago and will continue to be involved, but would also seek to recruit energetic people to develop and run the future RSE.
Mr Mathu says that collective investment schemes (normally pension funds, insurance funds and collective savings plans such as mutual funds and unit trusts) as critical to market development: “CIS contribute a very significant proportion in the development and deepening of the capital market because without a collective investment scheme every investor would invest directly in the market. We needed the law to make sure that investment managers handling the money has the right qualification and that they have to disclose their investment strategies and policies to the public.”
He adds that Rwanda has benefited from membership of the East Africa Securities Regulatory Association (EASRA) and East Africa Stock Exchanges Association (EASEA). It is part of plans to develop an integrated East African capital market and also part of an agreement with the International Finance Corporation to develop this. Mr Mathu said the dual listing of Kenya Commercial Bank shares is a learning opportunity: “KCB cross listing has helped us to assess our system in terms of being able to serve investors by accessing and buying shares. Therefore, it has given us a lesson, we are working on it, and very soon, you will see us conducting our equities business more effectively.” Eventually Rwanda will introduce electronic trading in securities, which is the route for integration with the regional securities market.

9 Responses to “Big plans for Rwanda capital market, including first local public offer”


  1. KAYINAMURA CELESTIN

    I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW HOW CAPITAL MARKET MAY FINANCE BUSINESS IN RWANDAN COMPANIES.

  2. Tom Minney

    Hi Kayinamura, sorry for the delay to get back to you. I think the Capital Markets Authority (www.cma.rw) and the Rwanda Stock Exchange (same website) could give you good answers in the context of your market, or talk to one of the stockbrokers or corporate advisors registered in Rwanda. Wishing you good fortune in searching for finance.

  3. Twagirayezu theophile

    Hallo i humbly write this letter to you in order to get some information, am masters student at university of Nairobi (economics) am going to finish my studies, before finishing, our department require us to do the research as unit, i want to do my research on Rwanda capital market. my question is: in this institution, do you have plan to do the research in your institution? if yes i am able to do that and work with your staffs, my research work will start on may! is there some facilities? thank you
    yours faithfully,

    TWAGIRAYEZU THEOPHILE

  4. Tom Minney

    Hi Twagirayezu, we don’t have capacity for in-depth research, but it would be interesting to hear more about the topics you plan to research and perhaps some of the readers will be interested to learn more. Good luck with the masters!

  5. Twagirayezu Theophile

    Thank you for your response am so excited! could you please send me the e-mail of a leader or of you in order to help me to continue some conversation and where i can send that topic! Mine is twagitheo001@yahoo.fr or 0788585063t@ gmail.com

    yours faithfully,

    TWAGIRAYEZU THEOPHILE

  6. Tom Minney

    Hi Twagirayezu, why not summarize your topics in a couple of sentences and post here? We won’t be able to follow up ourselves but some of the readers may be interested.

  7. Twagirayezu Theophile

    Thank you for your response! let do my best, very soon I drop it here!

  8. twagirimana eugene

    hi! I’m a student of law in 3rd in university of Rwanda huye
    campus,i;ve heard of the competition of essay writing on capital market, can i have more details? i’m very much intrested .

    i wish u all the best

  9. Tom Minney

    Hi Twagirimana Eugene, I am not the one running the essay competition. It is called Rwanda Capital Markets Authority University Challenge, run by CMA with quite a lot of universities and educational institutions there. You can find the CMA on http://cma.rw/ or you can call them on +250 252 500332/5. Good luck with your law studies and the competition.