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Bank of Kigali seeks foreign listing

Nairobi, Johannesburg, London under consideration

After a 5-year wait, Bank of Kigali appears set for another big move; this time a listing on one of the top bourses either regional, continentally or globally. If the deal goes through, it will make the bank the first company out of Kigali to list on a foreign bourse.

According to media reports quoting the bank’s Chief Financial Officer Nathalie Mpaka, a decision could be made as soon as 2018. According to the reports, Rwanda’s biggest bank by market value (it has a market value of Rwf 164.7 billion-franc) is being pushed by weariness of investors to access Bank of Kigali shares in Rwanda.

“International investors are pushing us to cross-list anywhere as they can’t buy BK shares in Rwanda, because of the long process and requirements,” Mpaka reportedly said. “Because of the investors’ appetite, we see this happening in 2018.”

Mpaka said a final decision will be determined by the amount of capital the bank will eventually be seeking. The decision could be made as early as this December.

According to Mpaka, the bank cannot seek listing on the London Stock Exchange if it only needs a smaller sum, say US$50 million.

Bank of Kigali excited the local Rwanda bourse with an Initial Public Offer (IPO) in 2011 which sent its stock up by 52% on first day of trading on September 5.

That IPO offered the shares at Rwf125 in June but was trading at Rwf191 in September.

The BK shares offered included a sale by the Government of its 20% stake and the bank offered a further 25%, making a total offer of 300.3 million shares for a total value of RWF37.5 billion ($63.6 m).

The IPO was 274% oversubscribed with Rwandan investors making up 75% of the shareholding. The retail investors’ pool was oversubscribed by 291%, institutional investors from Rwanda 165%, institutional investors from the region 221%, international investors 330% and BK employees and management 135%, according to media reports from the period.

At the time, the bank planned to use the IPO funds to expand its network, increase its loan portfolio and consolidate its leadership position in the increasingly competitive banking industry.

The listing was also seen as a boost to the Rwanda Stock exchange which was in its infant stage back then.


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