Kenya’s Equity Bank becomes largest firm on Rwandan bourse

by Elayne Wangalwa 0

The lender which is Kenya’s largest financial institution by customer base issued 3,702,777,020 ordinary shares, at a cost of 3.76 Rwandese Francs on Thursday.

Ahead of the listing, Celestin Rwabukumba CEO at RSE told CNBC Africa, “The Equity Group Holdings Limited is joining our stock exchange, doing a cross listing. So they will be bringing the entire company to be added to the list of cross-listed companies in Rwanda.”

The bank which has become one of the leading commercial banks in Rwanda and is a major milestone for the bourse with less than 10 listed companies.

According to Rwabukumba the listing shows the market is growing by gaining recognition from industry players.

“A new product always attracts more products for sure in the similar industry or similar businesses, but Equity joining Rwanda by way of cross-listing, they are doing it so that they can get their shares closer to the Rwandan population so that people can be able to buy and sell their shares on our market here,” Rwabukumba said.

During the bell ringing ceremony at the Rwandan bourse witnessed by the country’s President, Paul Kagame, Rwabukumba as well as the International Finance Corporation (IFC) representatives, Equity’s managing director James Mwangi encouraged investors to buy the shares.

“This is a momentous occasion for Equity Group Holdings, as we invite and extend an opportunity to the local investors a chance to share in our success as part owners of East and Central Africa leading financial services provider,” Mwangi said.

“The purpose of cross listing is to facilitate the availability of shares to the wider East African market. The cross listing will provide an easy and efficient way for our stakeholders and partners in Rwanda to participate beneficially in the growth and fortunes of the Company through partial ownership.”

This is the lenders third listing as it is already listed in the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) as well as the Uganda Stock Exchange (USE).The lender is now the largest firm to list in the Rwanda bourse with a market capitalisation of more than two billion US dollars.