Gov’t seeking investment advice for its proposed IPOs

Rwanda hopes to offload 10 percent it owns in MTN Rwanda, 20 percent of insurer Sonarwa and 25 percent in Bralirwa— the country’s sole beer manufacturer.

Rwanda hopes to offload 10 percent it owns in MTN Rwanda, 20 percent of insurer Sonarwa and 25 percent in Bralirwa— the country’s sole beer manufacturer.

Rwanda has intensified efforts of selling off stakes in three lucrative companies through the country’s stock exchange following revelations by the Finance Minister that government is in search of an investment advisor.

Rwanda hopes to offload 10 percent it owns in MTN Rwanda, 20 percent of insurer Sonarwa and 25 percent in Bralirwa— the country’s sole beer manufacturer.

James Musoni, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning told Business Times last week that government is set to outsource an investment adviser through protracted advertisement of the tender this week.

The Minister said that at least one of the three mentioned companies will be privatised through the Rwanda Over The Counter (OTC) market before the end of this calendar year.

“We are supposed to have an investment advisor before selling the shares to the public as a requirement from the capital markets authority,” said Musoni.

He said the contracted firm will advice government on how to sell its stake in these companies whose Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) are expected before the end of the Financial Year 2009/10.

The government will receive bids from both local and international bidders from which it will award the tender to the best bidder.

Rwanda was supposed to have the first Initial Public Offering earlier this year but there was a delay that was caused by the global financial crisis and the scarcity of liquidity in the public.

With the promising economic recovery, the Minister says they have set a target of this Financial Year for listing shares in the three companies.

Bralirwa is largely controlled by the Heineken Group which owns 70 percent stake while MTN Rwanda is a local unit of South Africa’s MTN Group, which has 55 percent shares.

Government owns only 10 percent in insurance conglomerate Sonarwa in which Nigeria’s Industrial and General Insurance (IGI) owns 35 percent shares.

Government is selling part of its stake in some companies through the Over-The-Counter (OTC) market to support the growth of the stock exchange and also implement its privatisation process that started in 1996.Government also wants Rwandans to buy into the country’s most profitable businesses.

Rwandan bourse currently lists three government bonds, one corporate bond and cross-listed shares in Kenya Commercial Bank.

Ends

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