Uchumi supermarket, a Kenyan supermarket chain, will today cross-list shares on the local stock market after getting a nod from the Capital Markets Authority and the Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE), Dr. Jonathan Ciano, the firm’s chief executive officer, revealed over the weekend.
Ciano added that trading on the local bourse will encourage Rwandans to own part of Uchumi.
“Uchumi will be among the few listed securities on the Rwanda Capital Market, which is great for us. It will also give us the visibility that we and our customers need. Our objective is to make Uchumi a business that is owned, managed and supported by East Africans,” said Ciano.
“Listing Uchumi shares in Rwanda will also help in the development of the local capital market and provide an investment opportunity to thousands of Rwandans since it now makes it convenient for them to invest in the company without going to Kenya.”
Robert Mathu, the Capital Markets Authority executive director, said the sector watchdog has put in place adequate infrastructure and the requisite listing and trading rules to facilitate the process.
“The CMA board has approved the cross-listing of 265,426,614 ordinary Uchumi shares of par value Ksh5 (Rwf38) each on the Rwanda Stock Exchange,” said Mathu.
He was optimistic that listing of Uchumi shares on the Rwanda Stock Exchange would pave way for similar Rwanda companies to participate in the security market, as well as enhance public awareness about financial products.
Uchumi is also seeking approvals to cross-list on the Uganda Securities Exchange and the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange ahead of the planned rights issue expected to be completed before close of year.
“We have made submissions to these securities exchanges and the country capital markets regulators and we are upbeat we’ll obtain approvals to cross-list in these markets soon,” Ciano said.
He added that thereafter, the company will seek additional capital through a rights issue to finance its regional growth and expansion programme as the retail chain moves to consolidate its position in the markets.
There are two Kenyan firms cross-listed on the local stock market; KCB and Nation Media Group, which have been part of the four firms listed on the RSE, including Bank of Kigali and Bralirwa.
It will be seen how Uchumi shares will perform seeing that all the cross-listed companies are not doing well on the stock market.
However, Celestin Rwabukumba, the RSE co-ordinator, said Uchumi’s listing will boost the bourse, and give investors options, as well as revitalise the stock market given its vast stock.