Rwandan Bank Mulls First Foreign Listing Outside Country

(Bloomberg) -- Bank of Kigali Ltd., Rwanda’s biggest lender by market value, plans to cross-list in Nairobi, Johannesburg or London in 2018, Chief Financial Officer Nathalie Mpaka said.

The lender will make a decision by December based on the amount of capital the bank plans to raise, Mpaka said Wednesday in the Rwandan capital, Kigali. It would be the first Rwandan company to list its shares outside the East African nation.

“We can’t go to London if we only need $50 million,” she said of the lender that listed in 2011 and has a 164.7 billion-franc ($199 million) market value. The company has 672.2 million shares in issue at the Rwandan Stock Exchange, which has only eight listed companies, four of them cross-listed from Kenya.

“International investors are pushing us to cross-list anywhere as they can’t buy BK shares in Rwanda, because of the long process and requirements,” Mpaka said. “Because of the investors’ appetite, we see this happening in 2018.”

Bank of Kigali reported 5.6 billion francs in net income for the first quarter, a 6 percent increase from a year ago. Its shares rose 0.4 percent to 245 francs by close of trade Wednesday.

Chief Executive Officer Diane Karusisi said the lender withdrew its bid to buy the local unit of Crane Bank Ltd. of Uganda, which was placed in receivership in October, and is no longer interested in a bank acquisition at the moment.