RSE crosses $1 billion mark in transactions

Stock brokers trade at Rwanda Stock Exchange yesterday. Photo: Julius Bizimungu.

Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE) surpassed $1 billion in trading this year, officials announced on Tuesday.

RSE officials, trading officers and brokers were joined by I&M Bank’s Executive Director, Faustin Byishimo to ring the closing bell, marking the milestone achieved and the end of 2019 trading activities on the local bourse.

“What just crossed my mind is that this is going to be another good year. It is an important milestone for our stock exchange,” Byishimo told The New Times upon ringing the closing bell.

I&M Bank stocks, which has been listed on the bourse since 2017, has been trading at Rwf90 as of Monday this week. 

He said the trend has been positive although slightly below what was expected.

“But it’s not specific to I&M Rwanda, rather to the market,” he noted, ostensibly referring to how small the market is.

I&M Bank’s Executive Director, Faustin Byishimo shakes hands with RSE Chief Executive Celestin Rwabukumba after announcing RSE crossed $1 billion mark in transactions value. Julius Bizimungu

On the other hand, RSE Chief Executive Celestin Rwabukumba said the event marked a major milestone in its eight-year history.

“This is a very big milestone for a small market like this, with a GDP [gross domestic product] of less than $10 billion,” he said.

According to RSE, some $761 million have been raised in the primary market while $306 million has been traded on the secondary market, bringing the total value of transacted business to $1.09 billion.

Rwabukumba attributed the figure to the rising demand for companies to raise money to fund their growth, as well as the increased awareness to save for the future.

“There is a need for the economy to raise long-term finance. Because we have an ambitious agenda of developing the country and it needs long-term finance,” he noted.

The chief executive highlighted that the target is to have a 20 per cent annual growth in transactions value, going forward.

He hopes that can be achieved through strategies like the 10-year capital market development plan.

Meanwhile, as of December, there were 20,000 active investors on the local stock market from 18,764 in December last year. 83.6 per cent of these are local investors, 13.8 per cent were regional, while the rest were international.

Currently, there are eight listed companies on the local bourse, 36 debt instruments have been issued in its eight-year history with a market capitalization of $3.3 billion.

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