Johannesburg – The government efforts to attract more Rwandans to the stock market have gotten a boost after the International Finance Corporation announced plans to start issuing local-currency bonds in Rwanda as it expands an African debt programme.
The debt will be sold in Rwandan francs and listed on the local bourse, Standard Bank Group, which is arranging the sale with CfC Stanbic Bank and Bank of Kigali, said in a statement.
“The timing and size of the bond will be at the issuer’s discretion,” Johannesburg-based Standard Bank said. The sale is “subject to market conditions,” the company said.
The World Bank debuted its Pan-Africa domestic medium-term note programme with the sale of 150 million Zambian kwacha ($24m) of Zambezi notes in September last year in an offer that was 4.8 times oversubscribed.
Africa may become the IFC’s biggest portfolio by 2016, chief risk officer Saadia Khairi said in an interview in Frankfurt in November.
The lender has been in talks with the governments of Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa and Uganda about local-currency issuances.
The market regulator has already approved the IFC securities and they may be sold in May, according to the Rwanda Stock Exchange boss Celestin Rwabukumba. The bond will be the fourth on the bourse, he said.
“The listing of the bond will increase the number of transactions on local bourse, which translates into increased liquidity and diversification,” Rwabukumba said.
In February, Rwanda received record demand at the first sale of debt in francs since 2011 and the country said it would offer more debt in May, August and November.
Rwanda is the only East African nation to have issued a Eurobond, raising $400m in 2013. The debt has returned 7.4 per cent in 2014, the second-best in Africa, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch indexes.
There are five firms registered on the local bourse; Bank of Kigali, Bralirwa, Uchumi, KCB and Nation Media Group.