Rwanda’s leading cement producer Cimerwa has today officially listed its shares on the local bourse changing the image and the way in which Rwanda will be measured in World Bank Ease of Doing Business Report.
In 20198 Ease of Doing Business report, Rwanda moved almost ten steps down (from 29 to 38 globally) as a result of not meeting the international standards of having at least ten private companies listed or cross listed on its stock market- Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE).
This requirement, according to Doing Business standards, shows how 190 global economies have put in place good corporate governance for shareholder protection guaranteeing financial security for private investors’ money invested on the stock markets.
Celestin Rwabukumba the CEO of RSE told KTPress that at the time of the World Bank evaluation Rwanda had only eight companies on its bourse which means the country got zero points in this measured area.
With Cimerwa’s listing today, Rwabukumba said that this is a big step that demystifies the earlier perception on shareholder protection and Rwanda will not fall victim to this metric anymore.
“Now we are counting and we are going to be on that list. They will not use that as an excuse that Rwanda is not protecting minority shareholders using that metric which we never knew of before,” Rwabukumba said.
Today, Cimerwa changed that literature by becoming the first local company, with foreign shareholders, to list by introducing its initial shares.
Out of the listed shares 703,219,520 (100%), a free float of 344,575,560 shares (49%) will be available for trading to the investor community at Rwf 120 per share on the Rwanda Stock Exchange.
At the opening and closing of the bells, 6,000 shares were sold.
Rwanda Development Board (RDB) CEO, Clare Akamanzi said that Cimerwa’s listing has made Rwanda proud and its strong contribution will be useful for RDB to push the country’s performance in the Ease of Doing Business performance but it is also a step forward to COVID-19 economic recovery.
“We really care about our private sector making money easily and in an environment that is really conducive. We will continue to do that going forward,” Akamanzi said.
Akamanzi said that Cimerwa listing will enjoy the anticipated economic growth which is expected to take off in 2021, as IMF and African development bank projections show that Rwanda’s economy will grow at 2% and 4% respectively.
She said that the cement industry in Rwanda is also expected to be a key growth player since major construction projects in the pipeline such as Bugesera International Airport, school classrooms, power plants, water treatment plants, satellite cities, will need more cement.
“In fact, when compared to other economies, Rwanda’s per capita cement consumption is still low at only 57kg per capita, while the countries surrounding us are at 150 kg per capita. So there is a lot of building we need to do for our economy,” Akamanzi said.
Despite the current Covid-19 crisis, the CEO of Cimerwa Albert K. Sigei revealed that the company has sold more cement than ever reaching more than 55,000 tons per month, which is slightly above its 600,000 tons annually.
Sigei also said that the next plan after the listing is to expand the company’s production capacity to meet the demand of cement in Rwanda but also keeping prices affordable.