Nation Media Group has cross-listed its shares at the Rwanda Over The Counter (ROTC) market.
The cross-listing, a landmark in the country nascent bourse, took place on Tuesday after approvals were made by the market’s regulator Capital Markets Authority (CMAC) of Rwanda and the ROTC Market.
“The company is offering 157,118,572 ordinary shares to the official list of ROTC and the shares have a combined market capitalization of USD325 million, NMG’s Chairman Wilfred Kiboro said.
“The company has benefited from listing on the Nairobi Stock Exchange in many ways over the years. Of the many performing blue chip companies listed on the bourse, NMG shares are very well regarded and treasured because of our consistent performance since 1973 when the shares were first listed on the NSE,” he added.
Kiboro added that the cross-listing on the ROTC market was mainly to enhance the profile of the company in Rwanda, enable Rwandan investors share in NMG’s vision as shareholders of the company, and also recognize the emergence of capital markets growth in Rwanda as evidenced by the growth parameters at the ROTC Market.
The ordinary shares of the company have a nominal or par value of Rwf 18.40 each and rank pari-passu with the right to participate in all future dividends to be declared and paid on the ordinary share capital of the Company.
According to John Rwangombwa, the Minister of Finance and Economic planning, “the cross listing of NMG, the most established media house in the region, will help Rwandans mobilize long term savings and propel the integration of regional economies.”
Rwangombwa added that the cross listing is timely since the capital market business in Rwanda is young and any new products on the market is always a milestone and will stimulate savings.
NMG becomes the second Kenyan company to cross-list shares on the Rwandan market after Kenya Commercial Bank which came in last year.
The shareholders of the company, at the Annual General Meeting held on 19 May 2010, passed a special resolution to offer the shares to investors across East Africa through the cross listing of shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange, the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange and the ROTC Market.
According to Mark Rugenera, the Chairman of Rwanda’s Capital Market Advisory Council (CMAC), the Rwanda bourse has recorded a total turnover of francs 18 million from Kenya Commercial Bank 112,300 shares traded on the ROTC markets.
“To attract both investors and issuers, the fiscal and non fiscal incentives were approved by government. The income tax and value added tax were amended to include the tax incentives recommended under the (East African) Common Market Protocol,” Rugenera said.
“Some of these include, withholding tax on dividend on listed companies, which is now down 5 percent from 15; tax interest on listed bond with maturity of 3 years is now 5 percent from 15 percent and corporate income taxes were reduced to the lower rates ranging from 28 percent to 20 percent. All registered collective investments are exempted from taxes,” he added.