Rwanda ruling party sells stake in MTN

The investment arm of Rwanda’s ruling party is selling its 20 percent stake in MTN Rwandacell, a unit of the South African telecoms group, in an initial public offering (IPO) that aims to raise about 28 billion francs ($41 million).

MTN would become just the third Rwandan company to be listed on the local bourse, where trading began in 2011.

 Crystal Ventures, the Rwandan Patriotic Front party’s investment firm, said shares were priced at 105 francs each and that the offer would close on June 5.

“We’re planning to raise about 28 billion Rwandan francs and everybody is eligible (to buy shares),” Jack Kayonga, executive chairman of Crystal Ventures, said at the launch of the IPO on Thursday.

Funds raised will be used to invest in the energy sector, he said.

Apart from the telecoms industry, Crystal Ventures has interests in construction, real estate development, agriculture, aviation, security services and engineering services.

The two local companies currently listed on the Rwanda Stock Exchange are brewer Bralirwa and Bank of Kigali.

The bourse also has three other companies cross-listed from Kenya, giving it a market capitalisation of $4.1 billion.

“The market has been able to raise about 55 billion Rwanda francs in the past four years that we have been in existence as a stock exchange,” said Rwanda Stock Exchange Chief Executive Celestin Rwabukumba.

MTN Rwandacell says it has a subscriber base of over 3.5 million subscribers in Rwanda and its network covers over 98 percent of the country’s population of 11 million.