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The Rwanda bourse is set to see renewed activity as the government offloads its stake in I&M Bank Rwanda, a subsidiary of I&M Holdings through an initial public offering.


The IPO is set to run from February 14 to March 3.


While the share price and the target for the IPO have not been made public, The EastAfrican has learnt that the Rwandan government will be selling all its 99,030,000 shares, which constitute 19.61 per cent of the issued share capital in I&M Bank.


Deal makers expect the offer for sale to rally business on the bearish Rwanda bourse, which has taken a hit as buyers and sellers look for cheap bargains elsewhere.

Prices of the local listed companies -- Bralirwa, Bank of Kigali and Crystal Telecom share -- have been dropping with some sellers desperate to sell their shares at any price.


But this is not unique to Rwanda, currently, all the four stockmarkets in the region -- Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange, Rwanda Stock Exchange, Uganda Securities Exchange and Nairobi Securities Exchange -- have been hit by low trading volumes.


The new share offer is set to have back foreign investors whose appetite for Rwanda stocks had diminished.


"The offer for sale is part of the government's ongoing divesture programme," said Robin C. Bairstow, managing director of I&M Bank Rwanda.


"Privatisation of state-owned enterprises kicked off in 1997 with a total of 72 institutions earmarked for privatisation. By divesting its stake in I&M Bank Rwanda, the government of Rwanda is encouraging investment among the citizens of Rwanda, and promoting the development of the local capital markets," said Mr Bairstow.


I&M Bank is ranked among the big banks in Rwanda controlling a market share is in terms of assets of 12.2 per cent and 12.3 per cent in deposits.


"Our average net profit over the past three to four years has been Rwf5 billion ($6 million) and in 2016 we performed well, our key ratios are sound and the bank remains well capitalised," said Mr Bairstow.


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