Deadline for sale of govt shares in I&M Bank extended

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David Mitali, a trading manager at RSE, records deals at a past session. File.

Government and I&M Bank have agreed to extend the deadline on sale of government shares to March 10.

The offer for sale of 19.81 per cent shareholding held by the Government of Rwanda in I&M Bank (Rwanda) Ltd., that was launched on February 14 and initially set to close on March 3, 2017, has now been extended to March 10, 2017, according to a statement from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.  

The ministry said it had received enthusiastic investor interest across the region and thought it was important to extend the deadline.

“This is to ensure that prospectuses and application forms reach investors across the country and the East African region in good time, and in response to requests from retail and institutional investors given the early start to the year, it has been decided to avail additional time to enable investors participate,” it said in the statement.

Shehzad Noordally, the Chairman, Rwanda Association of Stockbrokers and Market Intermediaries, said: “There has been a slight delay in publishing prospectuses, which is an administrative issue that has been resolved. This has, therefore, resulted in the prospectuses not being distributed on time to the general public”. 

The delayed printing and distribution, he said, is beyond the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, and the Lead Advisor control.

I&M Bank, the Capital Market Authority, and the Rwanda Stock Exchange have given their approval to extend the closing day of the offer to March 10 as per the procedures for and terms and conditions of, application and allotment in the prospectus.

The Initial Public Offering (IPO) for I&M Bank was launched Tuesday last week to pave way for the sale of the 19.81 shares the Government of owns in the bank.

The IPO was opened at Rwf90 and the minimum shares one can buy are 1,000. In total, the government shares floated are 99,030,400.

The shares were subsequently listed on Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE).

The I&M IPO is in line with the government’s policy of divesting from public enterprises and is expected to contribute towards the development of the capital markets.

According to the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Claver Gatete, the government is committed to the development of capital markets as a means to building a strong foundation for long-term financing for both private and public sector.

Robin Bairstow, the Managing Director of the bank, said while unveiling the offer that the IPO gives an opportunity to ordinary Rwandans to acquire shares in the institution which he said has a rich heritage, spanning 53 years.

“This offer is, therefore, a strong vote of confidence in the bank’s performance over the years,” Bairstow said.

This is the third time the government is listing its shares in an enterprise following Bralirwa, the country’s oldest beverages maker, and Bank of Kigali.

In total, there are four locally listed companies on Rwanda Stock Exchange.

Besides the above mentioned companies, MTN Rwanda is also trading shares through Crystal Telecom, a subsidiary of Crystal Ventures Ltd.

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