BK shares most attractive

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BK shares most attractive

Bank of Kigali shares were the most traded on the local bourse this year compared to the other listed firms, latest Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE) figures for year-ended November indicate.

The company traded a total of 93.1 million shares as at November 30 worth Rwf25.3 billion in turnover, while Bralirwa, its main rival on the stock market, pushed 39.8 million shares worth Rwf19.2 billion during the recording period.

This has not been a good year for the cross-listed companies, Uchumi Supermarkets, Kenya Commercial Bank Group (KCB) and Nation Media Group (NMG). Of the three, only Uchumi Supermarkets shares were traded during the year, with the firm’s 13,200 shares worth over Rwf2.2 million exchanging hands.

Compared to 2013, Bralirwa bourse turnover is headed for a dip this year, the report indicates.

It shows that Bralirwa traded 52.7 million shares for the whole of last year worth over Rwf43.6 billion, while Bank of Kigali traded 55.7 million shares worth Rwf10.4 billion. KCB on the other hand traded 4,700 shares worth Rwf821,700 and Uchumi, after its October cross-listing last year, traded 3,600 shares worth Rwf630,000.

RSE still faces a huge challenge, whereby cross-listed counters barely trade, with low investor appetite for them.

Though regional stock markets interlinked their central depository systems last year, allowing investors of cross-listed companies to carry out transactions with ease, investor interest remain muted.

Previously, it used to take a minimum of two months to transfer shares of cross-listed companies, but now it takes two hours to do so electronically. The initiative (interlinking of regional stock markets’ central depository systems) was expected to attract investors, especially those that used to go to Nairobi to buy shares of say, KCB or NMG.

Davis Gathaara, the managing director of Baraka Capital, a brokerage firm in Kigali, said in a recent interview that with the majority of the cross-listed firms’ shareholders being Kenyan, it was easier for them to sell their shares on the Nairobi Securities Exchange than on RSE.

“During the firms’ listings here, they had to create a special vehicle so that some Kenyans could sell from here. So the fact that the majority of the shares are held by non-Rwandans could also be having a negative impact on the local exchange’s trading,” he said.

However, Celestin Rwabukumba, the RSE chief executive officer, believes that it’s only a matter of time before more Rwandans embraced the culture of trading in shares as a viable investment option.

“Even domestic companies’ counters are not as active compared to stock markets in the region. So, it’s about brokers inviting more people to come and buy shares,” he said.

As for the domestic firms, Bralirwa and Bank of Kigali, Rwabukumba said their performance at the RSE was instrumental in improving the bourse’s fortunes during the year.

“We have had three good years in terms of the RSE Share Index performance. The listed companies’ share prices have all improved,” he said.

In May this year, Bralirwa did a share split, meaning that if one had 10 shares they got 20 shares. The company wanted to raise its share capital from Rwf514.3 million to Rwf5.14 billion of 1,028,570,000 shares by incorporating Rwf4.6 billion from retained earnings.

The beverages maker’s share price consequently started off at Rwf440 after the share split. It was Rwf860 just before the share split. Today, Bralirwa counter is hovering at around Rwf365, a price brokers at the market attribute to share surplus.

Rwabukumba expects next year to be a better one for the market, with an initial public offering (IPO) expected in coming weeks. Though he declined to disclose which company will be issuing the IPO.

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About the author

Olive Ndaka is the Junior Editor for RwandaEye. An investor and young entrepreneur, she is a quick learner and has contributed many articles for RwandaEye in Kinyarwanda.

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