“After nine months of hard work, we are now finally quoted on the stock exchange. Our opening price was 28,500 franc CFA. Our company is busy in oil palm, rubber and ranching, and we are covering the whole of Gabon, but of course our quote is for the whole of Central Africa,” Siat Gabon director Gert Vandersmissen told CNBC Africa.
Siat Gabon is a tropical agriculture investment society that invests in palm oil, rubber production and livestock activities in four provinces in Gabon. Their listing on the Bourse des Valeurs Mobilières d'Afrique Centrale (BVMAC) is expected to pave the way for other companies.
“The stock exchange is covering the whole of central Africa and we hope that a lot of people will join us, and attract a lot of stable investors,” Vandersmissen explained.
He added that Siat Gabon’s choice in listing on the Central African stock exchange was as a means to stabilise their company in the region, and to provide others with the opportunity to become shareholders in the company.
Siat Gabon also wanted to encourage transparency as the stock exchange in the region develops.
“We have now listed here in the BV market zone, and we’re thinking of a double-listing somewhere else in Nigeria, Abidjan, or even in Mauritius. We don’t stop here, we know the market strength,” said Vandersmissen.
The listing was however undersubscribed as the Central African market is more of a bond market than one that provides stocks at a fixed amount and with a fixed interest rate. The interest in buying shares is however expected to peak in the coming months.
“I think the money is in this market because of the petroleum dollar and agriculture sector that is developing, but it will take time for people to understand how this stock exchange works,” he said.
“We have confidence in the stock exchange. It will grow. We’re the first ones but we hope that a lot of others will join so that we can grow this market together.”