Just recently, Bralirwa, the country’s top brewer, announced that its after-tax profit had increased by over 260 percent. That news must have sounded like sweet music to its shareholders.
It is also good news to the company as its profitability will sure attract increased attention as more people seek a footing in the gold mine through the Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE).
The exchange is fairly new and small by regional standards having been fully launched in 2011 and currently has eight companies trading their shares on its floor.
The Nairobi Stock Exchange is the oldest having opened its doors in 1957 and has over 60 companies listed
The Tanzanian and Ugandan have a combined listing of about 45 companies and have been in business for slightly over 20 years. So in actual fact, Kenya has been the only meaningful exchange and ruled the market for 60 years.
But the days of working in isolation are about to end as all exchanges will soon link up to allow seamless transactions between the four countries. But as it stands at the moment Rwanda RSE still operates in the analogue world – manually.
So it is good news that by next month, RSE will have joined the big boys and have all its operations automated. It is understandable that investing in top-notch technology before Rwandans fully understood the workings of the stock exchange was not the right time.
But now that RSE is slowly making its voice heard, it needs to shift into top gear, sell itself to the Rwandan public aggressively and attract more products in its portfolio.