MTN Rwandacell has listed its shares on the Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE), becoming the first telecom company to list on the 10-year-old bourse.
The listing by introduction turns Crystal Telecoms’ (CTL) shareholders into direct shareholders in MTN Rwanda.
The development gives the Rwandan public an opportunity to own a piece of the country’s biggest telecom player, a growth Rwandan customers have contributed to for the last 23 years.
The listing, which has been called a key milestone for the country’s financial sector, will see 100 per cent of MTN Rwandacell listed on the market, but only the 20 per cent previously owned by CTL will be floated to the public.
Celestine Rwabukumba, the CEO of RSE called this listing “A big milestone for the market; it will increase our capitalisation in a big way.”
“The MTN listing is particularly significant because it is an addition of a leading brand to the exchange and will offer more visibility which will trigger more interest from other potential new investors to join,” he said.
He said for the investor community and the general public, the listing offers an opportunity not only to partake in MTN Rwanda activities, but also to have a direct ownership of the company.
“This listing on our young bourse is a vote of confidence in our markets ability to attract good reputable companies and investors from all over the world,” he noted.
The MTN Rwanda CEO Mitwa Ng’ambi said the company is honoured to be the first telecommunications network provider in Rwanda to be listed on the RSE.
“We are committed to further establishing our presence, expanding our connectivity, driving digital inclusion and contributing to the sector and economy,” he added.
MTN group sent a 10-person delegation to the listing ceremony in Kigali, headed by MTN Group CEO and President Ralph Mupita, who said this listing will assist in deepening the Rwandan capital markets by broadening public ownership over time and will also establish the basis for a new and emerging telecoms and technology asset class on the exchange.
“We cannot be prosperous as MTN without prosperous societies,” Mr Mupita said.
He said the listing forms part of MTN’s efforts to promote local ownership and participation in MTN businesses across its markets and provides an opportunity for Rwandans to invest directly in the network operator.
“Rwanda is well positioned to become a hub and financial centre in East Africa,” he added.
The recent delisting of CTL from the market paved way to the listing, which has largely been seen a big win to the public since they will finally directly own shares in MTN Rwanda.
Although the telecom company has floated only the 20 per cent so far, players in the market say the 80 per cent will bring a lot of value to the market capitalisation, and they are optimistic that with time the firm will increase the size of shares it is floating.
The listing of MTN Rwanda will see 1,350,886,600 ordinary shares with a nominal value of Rwf 1 each being registered with the RSE at an initial listing price of Rwf269 ($269) per ordinary share.
Appetite for CTL shares on the Rwanda bourse soared in the days leading to the May 4 listing of MTN Rwanda shares, as members of the public raced to put themselves in a position to own a piece of the telecom player.
CTL share prices surged from Rwf95 per share–a price held for the last one year–to Rwf200 by the close of business April 23, three days before their trading was suspended until 4 when the listing took place.