Low activity expected at bourse as year closes

Trading at the Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE) is expected to decline as the festive season kicks in, traders have said.

“Now people are saving some money to spend with their families during the holiday so we expect some to come and try to sell their shares and buyers to shy away from the market,” Davis Gathaara, the managing director of Baraka Capital, a brokerage firm in Kigali, explained in an interview with Business Times yesterday.

Baraka Capital accounts for more than 60 per cent of RSE stock transactions monthly.

Gathaara projected the market could be depressed until February next year, noting that traders would re-appear on the market once the listed companies announce their financial results.

“We expect stocks to pick up in the first quarter ahead of results. However, we expect the growth to be more on the Bank of Kigali counter because of its performance, but Bralirwa may remain depressed amid concerns on its revenue growth,” he said.

According to an equity research by Barak Capital, the brewer’s earnings went down by 20 per cent in the first half of this year to Rwf6.1 billion with 2014’s full year forecasts expected to be down to 17 per cent at Rwf12.8 billion.

Bank of Kigali, on the other hand, recorded a 34 per cent increase in the period ended June 30 to Rwf9.8 billion, with the full year projected earnings expected at Rwf20.2 billion, a 36 per cent annual increase.

The two are the only local firms listed companies on the RSE, with the three others being cross-listed companies that trade once in a while, making their share prices to remain stagnant overtime.

However, recent trends at the market have shown that buyers are shying away from the two active counters, leading to a decline in their share prices.

Bralirwa counter closed at Rwf369 yesterday, while Bank of Kigali was at Rwf298, both declining by Rwf2 and Rwf5, respectively compared to last Monday’s closing prices.

While Gathaara noted that Bank of Kigali’s share price was stable, he said there had been an oversupply of shares on the Bralirwa counter after the firm’s share split mid-this year.

“It was inevitable that Bralirwa’s share price would start declining as their shareholders are selling bonus shares, which creates an oversupply on the market,” he noted.

He added that investors were waiting for the firm’s share price to drop further in order to buy them.