Rwanda sells major bank stakes to finance new airport construction

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Rwanda has sold its stake in I&M Bank, one of the country’s major commercial banks, through an Initial Public Offer (IPO) in order to finance new Bugesera International Airport currently under construction.

The government of Rwanda currently holds 19.61 percent, or slightly over 99 million shares in the bank, which is the oldest lender in the country.

On Tuesday, Rwanda launched 99 million shares for IPO in I&M Bank, owned largely by Kenyan firm I&M Holdings.

The construction of the airport will be in two phases. The first stage will cost 418 million U.S. dollars with the capacity of handling 1.7 million passengers a year and it will be completed in 2018.

The second phase will commence with further expansion that will increase the airport’s capacity to 4.5 million passengers per year, costing an additional 400 million dollars to bring the total cost to 818 million dollars.

Speaking to reporters shortly after the launch, Rwanda’s finance minister Claver Gatete said the government has decided to divest in certain strategic investments in the private sector.

The bank is the fourth local company listed on the Rwanda Stock Exchange. Others are Bank of Kigali, Bralirwa and Crystal Telecom. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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