Nation Media Group in Rwanda cross listing, new market tax incentives

Kenya’s Nation Media Group (www.nationmedia.com) has cross-listed its shares at the Rwanda Over-The -Counter (ROTC) market on 2 November. According to a report in New Times (www.newtimes.co.rw), NMG’s Chairman Wilfred Kiboro said the company was offering 157,118,572 ordinary shares to the official list of ROTC. The ordinary shares have a nominal or par value of Rwf 18.40 (US$0.03) each. The regulators, the Capital Markets Authority (CMAC) of Rwanda and the ROTC Market, approved the listing.
The paper quotes Mark Rugenera, the Chairman of Rwanda’s Capital Market Advisory Council (www.cmac.org.rw): “To attract both investors and issuers, fiscal and non-fiscal incentives were approved by Government. The income tax and value added tax were amended to include the tax incentives recommended under the (East African) Common Market Protocol..
Some of these include withholding tax on dividends on listed companies, which is now down to 5% from 15%; tax interest on listed bond with maturity of 3 years is now 5% from 15% and corporate income taxes were reduced to the lower rates ranging from 28% to 20%. All registered collective investments are exempted from taxes.”
Mr Kiboro added that the cross-listing on the ROTC market was mainly to enhance the profile of the company in Rwanda and to recognize the emergence of capital markets growth in Rwanda.
The paper quotes John Rwangombwa, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning: “The cross-listing of NMG, the most established media house in the region, will help Rwandans mobilize long term savings and propel the integration of regional economies.”
NMG is the second Kenyan company to cross-list shares, following Kenya Commercial Bank in 2009. Its shareholders have also approved cross listings on the Uganda Securities Exchange and the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange.

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