Why SMEs turn a blind eye to the stock market

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Why SMEs turn a blind eye to the stock market
Why SMEs turn a blind eye to the stock market

Africa-Press – Rwanda. Since the creation of an alternative market segment for Small and Medium Enterprises on Rwanda Stock Exchange in 2018, only one company was listed in 2021 despite the ease of requirements for SMEs.

The platform seeks to give SMEs and other corporate companies access capital market to raise development finance.

Pierre Celestin Rwabukumba, Chief Executive of RSE, told The New Times that all SMEs want to raise money and end up going to banks.

This, according to him, is because they are not really well organised to receive public money, not only in terms of listing but also being ready for investors.

“The basic things like corporate governance and accountability, how can you trust someone who only has bank accounts but misses out on audits?” he pointed out.

Rwanda is one of the most competitive countries in business, he said, adding that companies can’t survive with a culture of not being transparent, there is no room for fraud.

By shying away from going through the whole process to be investor-ready and list on stocks market, Rwabukumba said SMEs fall short of investment opportunities.

He added that it is unfortunate that a foreign company is able to raise funds through the bourse because they notice the potential and stability of the market while local companies are reluctant.

RSE created an Investment Clinic program that seeks to help companies to identify gaps in their businesses, train and equip them to improve their ability to attract investors as well as display their profiles to prospective investors.

Officials pose for a group photo at the forum .The platform seeks to give SMEs and other corporate companies access capital market to raise development finance.

Ferdy Turasenga, Chief Executive of Energicotel, the first SME to list on stock market with a corporate bond, encouraged entrepreneurs to look at the stock exchange as an alternative source of funding that is patient and affordable.

“All you are required is to be disciplined and transparent in the way you do business, and this immediately attracts the capital market. They have to know that this is people’s money available and they only need to be informed and take advantage of this source of capital,” he added.

Without disclosing the names or definite dates, Rwabukumba said there are about three companies with the potential to be listed on the stock market in the near future.

Since 2011, RSE has raised about Rwf1.5Trillion through debt and equity, with debt instruments being the majority because of government and corporate bonds. It has 10 listed companies, half of which are domestic and the rest are cross-listed companies.

Eric Bundugu, the Executive Director of Capital Market Authority (centre) speaks at the Rwanda Stock Exchange Listing Forum 2022, as Pierre-Célestin Rwabukumba, the Chief Executive of Rwanda Stock Exchange (left), and Ferdy Turasenga, the Executive Director of ENERGICOTEL, look on in Kigali on August 4. According to Rwabukumba, RSE has raised about Rwf1.5billion through debt and equity since 2011. It has 10 listed companies, half of which are domestic and the rest are cross-listed companies. Photo: Dan Nsengiyumva.

RSE also has a market segment called “Next Gen” that targets startups to help them in guidance on how to raise capital from the time they register their companies with Rwanda Development Board.

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