The plan to construct a $40 million shopping mall at Kimironko market is gaining pace as more investors rush to buy shares in Gasabo Investment Company (GIC), the company behind the project.
The number of shareholders in GIC has more than doubled with about over Rwf1.64 billion raised from share subscription, up from Rwf541 million collected during the launch in September 2013.
Fabrice Shema Ngoga, the board chairperson, told a stakeholders meeting last week that the number of shareholders had increased to 368, up from 162.
“This shows that there is a lot of public interest in the project. And all these people who have so far bought shares are Rwandans. This is something we are happy about even though foreigners are also welcome,” he said.
Each share goes for Rwf10, 000 and the minimum number of shares an investor can buy is currently fixed at 100.
Construction of Gasabo Mall, an ultra-modern three-storey facility, is expected to commence before the end of the year.
Jean-Claude Munara, the Gasabo Distict vice-mayor in charge of economic affairs, said the shopping mall is just part of bigger project that includes a housing estate of about 2, 000 units and warehouses.
During the launch of the company last September, it was reported that in the coming seven years, the company would focus on three main infrastructure projects; the Gasabo Shopping Mall, a housing estate and warehouses at an estimated cost of $40 million, $80 million and $10 million, respectively.
Five commercial banks; Bank of Kigali, COGEBANQUE, KCB, Banque Populaire du Rwanda and GT Bank have since come on board to facilitate potential investors with loans to invest in GIC shares.
“For people who wish to invest less than Rwf6 million, no collateral will be required and the interest rate is negotiable. It won’t be higher than our normal rates and you don’t have to have an account with us to get a loan,” said Godffrey Shema of KCB.
Officials say that the structure will be constructed in phases to ensure that traders are not disrupted. Last year, Innocent Bahizi, the head of the vendors’ association in Kimironko market, said they are ready to put up with any inconvenience during the construction period. Vendors will be moved to a temporarily location when construction works commence.
The market has 2,200 vendors and many of them have already bought shares in the company.
And commercial banks on board, it is expected that more vendors will invest in the project.
Consultants have declared the project viable, with a high return on investment. “The earnings per share quadruple within one year of full operation,” Emmanuel Murangira, a consultant economist who worked on the project said during the launch.