BRALIRWA, first Rwandan IPO, launches tomorrow

The Rwandan Government said today (22 November) that it aims to raise RwFr 22.1 billion (US$37.3 million) from the sale of its 30% stake in brewer Brasseries et Limonaderies du Rwanda BRALIRWA (www.bralirwa.com), according to a report on Reuters.
It will be the first initial public offering and the share is intended to be traded on Rwanda’s Over The Counter market. The share offer will run from 23 November to 17 December.
According to Reuters, Finance Minister John Rwangombwa told a news conference that the Government would sell 128.6 million shares, or 25% of the company, at RwFR 136 francs (22.9 US cents) per share. He said this is a discount to the valuation of RwFr 170 each share, in order to encourage buyers.
Government will sell the remaining 5% of its shareholding to Heineken Group, which earlier bought 70% of the brewer from the Government. BRALIRWA sells beers such as Amstel, Guinness, Mutzig and local brand Primus and has an estimated 95% market share and also bottles Coca Cola products.
Rwanda’s Capital Markets Authority (www.cmac.org.rw) launched the Rwanda Over-The-Counter market in January 2008 and is working with Government to build the capital markets. The exchange has so far mainly attracted Treasury and corporate bonds and 2 cross-listed Kenyan companies — Kenya Commercial Bank and Nation Media Group. Kenya’s Central Depository and Settlement Corporation (www.cdsckenya.com) said recently it will provide registrar services.
Reuters reports that earlier this month, the market authority said taxes had been cut in line with recommendations in East African common market proposals to attract investors and issuers. Withholding tax on dividends on listed companies is now 5% (down from 15%), tax on interest from listed bonds with a maturity of three years is now 5% percent from 15% and corporate income taxes were reduced to the lower rates ranging from 28% to 20%.
Future privatizations are set to be the sale of Government’s 10% shareholding in mobile telephone operator MTN Rwanda (South Africa’s MTN Group has 55% stake) and its 20% stake in the country’s biggest insurer, Societe Nouvelle d’Assurance du Rwanda (Sonarwa), where Nigeria’s IGI owns 35% of the shares.

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