Banks leading Rwanda’s equities market growth

Wednesday September 26 2018

BK

Bank of Kigali headquarters in Kigali. The Rwandan lender is to cross list on the Nairobi Securities Exchange in December. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA 

By KABONA ESIARA
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Rwanda’s equities market posted an impressive turnover between May and August 2018, as investors sought opportunities in the country’s blue-chip companies.

Listed banks were the biggest drivers of the growth, signalling that investors are growing their stakes in order to enjoy growth in the value of their wealth.

Data from Rwanda Stock Exchange shows that the turnover on the equities market increased to $4.6 million in the May to August period, from $2.6 million recorded between January and April.

“There is renewed investor sentiment about the Rwanda economy, which has maintained a strong growth — averaging over 10 per cent in the first half of this year compared with the 1.7 per cent recorded in the first half of 2017 — which has in turn lifted the equity market performance,” said Celestin Rwabukumba, RSE chief executive officer.

The biggest driver of the turnover was Bank of Kigali, which generated $3.5 million, 75 per cent of the $4.6 million the four listed domestic companies, Bank of Kigali, I&M Bank Rwanda, Crystal Telecom and Bralirwa made.

Markets analysts say the strong results by Bank Kigali has been posting over the years have translated into high returns on investment and dividend payouts, making its stock attractive to investors.

Diane Karusisi, the Bank of Kigali’s CEO, said an upcoming the rights issue and crosslisting on the Nairobi Securities Exchange is partly contributing to the positive sentiment.

The crosslisting in December is meant to tap the larger EAC market as the bank seeks to raise an additional $100 million to boost its capital base and enable it to finance big card projects.

The I&M Bank Rwanda was also a sought after stock, raking in $1.2 million in the eight months ending August.

High returns

Market players say the strong results I&M Bank Rwanda has been posting and its high returns on assets and equity makes the bank attractive to investors.

The bank handed its shareholders a dividend payout of Rwf5.16 ($0.006) per share.

The earnings per share increased from Rwf11.61 ($0.013) to Rwf12.92 ($0.015), a level expected to be maintained or increased given the bank’s strong results in the first half of 2018.

After a slow start in the first four months ending April 2018, owing the regulatory fine and tax related matters that wiped out dividends, MTN Rwanda’s growth prospects are now positive raising investor confidence in Crystal Telecom.

The turnover Crystal Telecom generated grew from $48,792 from January to April, 2018 to $651,630 between May and August.

Mr Rwabukumba said the prospects of the Rwanda bourse are positive buoyed by strong economic growth projections, the monthly reopening of bonds and quarter issuance of new government securities.

According to Mr Rwabukumba, the government plans a monthly bond reopening to increase liquidity on the market, but will also maintain its quarterly issuances.

The National Bank of Rwanda reports that the first ever bond reopening was successful, with a remarkable subscription level of 311.3 per cent from 42 applications received from different categories of investors.