The Rwanda Stock Exchange opened for business in the capital city of Kigali at the end of January, but so far the exchange has not traded any stocks. It has listed two government bonds and a corporate bond floated by Banque Commerciale du Rwanda.
MBEA Brokerage Services and established Kenyan brokers Dyer & Blair and African Alliance have already opened offices in Kigali in anticipation of stock trading later this year. Robert Mathu, a former official of the Nairobi Stock Exchange, is head of the Rwanda exchange and executive director of the regulatory body, the Capital Market Advisory Council. He says it is too early to name the companies that will be listed, but they likely will be companies that are operating profitably and in which the government holds a majority stake.
The Rwanda government’s earlier plan to list six privatized companies in 2008 may be overly ambitious, says Jonathan Auerbach, co-founder and managing director of Auerbach Grayson, a New York-based agency broker serving US international investors in 119 countries. He says he is impressed, however, with the opportunities in Africa and is looking forward to Angola opening an exchange early next year. “We did more than $1 billion in turnover in Africa last year,” he says.