Minister MinecofinThe Government has announced it will sell its stake in I&M Bank to the public beginning next week through an Initial Public Offer.

The Government currently holds 19.61 per cent, or slightly over 99,000,000, shares in the bank, which is the oldest lender in the country.

Confirming the development, Robin Bairstow, the managing director of I&M Bank Rwanda, said

the Initial Public Offer (IPO) will open on February 14 following a formal announcement at the Kigali Convention Centre.

Details of the share sale will be announced during the launch of the IPO. Bairstow said the share sale is part of the government’s plan of divesting strategic investments they hold in the private sector.

“It’s the Government that is divesting in certain strategic investments they have within the private sector,” he told The New Times yesterday.

The share sale is being handled by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning on behalf of the Government.

When it is finally listed on the Rwanda Stock Exchange, the bank will be the fourth local company on the bourse. Others are Bank of Kigali, Bralirwa and Crystal Telecom.

There are four cross-listed counters at the exchange – Uchumi Supermarkets, Equity Bank, KCB and NMG.

The Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Amb. Claver Gatete, said the proceeds from the sale would be invested as initial equity in Bugesera International Airport.

“The Government expects Rwf11.5 billion from sale of its stake in I&M Bank Rwanda. The money will be invested as initial equity in the Bugesera Airport,” Gatete, who was presenting the 2016/17 revised budget before Parliament yesterday, said.

Construction of the airport begins in June and will be undertaken by Mota Engil Engenharia e Construcao Africa SA, a Portuguese firm that deals in civil construction, port operations and logistics.

The works are projected to be completed by December 2018, and thereafter, the firm will run the facility’s operations for 25 years with an option to extend by another 15 years.

The project is supposed to cost about $418 million in the first phase, which is expected to deliver a facility of international standards with capacity to handle about 1.7 million passengers every year.

Upon completion of the first phase, the firm agreed to commence expansion works which will increase the airport’s capacity to 4.5 million passengers per year and costing an additional $400 million.

The Government in 2010 announced a privatisation programme that would see them sell their stake in about 20 top companies.

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