Depositary Receipts (DRs) of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) started trading on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM) on 5 October 2017, with the Bank topping the list of issuers in terms of capital raised prior to a listing.
As per regulation, 5 000 DRs were listed at an initial price of $4.30 per DR. Yesterday, in a solid day of trading, the DRs closed, up 2.3 per cent, at $4.40 per DR and a market capitalisation of more than $170 million.
The listing of the Depositary Receipts represents a big first for Africa’s equity capital markets and marks the achievement of a unique initiative on which Afreximbank had been working with SBM Group, a leading Bank in the financial sector in Mauritius, as lead arranger and depositary of the DRs.
In a ceremony marking the first day of trading of the DRs, Afreximbank President Dr. Benedict Oramah said, “Today, the Government of Mauritius, SBM and Afreximbank make history. We realise the dream of Afreximbank founding fathers. This Depositary Receipts issuance is the first of its kind to be initiated by a multilateral financial institution. We welcome the new investors who have made the choice to support Afreximbank and Africa’s development through this issuance. There can be no better vehicle for participating in the dynamic economies across Africa while yielding attractive returns.”
President Oramah said that by investing in the DRs, investors would immediately diversify their risks across the 46 economies of the Bank’s African member states, with diverse opportunities, vibrancy and risk profiles, thereby protecting themselves from country and currency risks.
Most importantly, their investment would help the Bank intensify its trade and project finance activities across the continent, boosting intra-African trade, accelerating industrialization and increasing value-added exports from Africa, in line with its “IMPACT 2021:Africa Transformed” Strategy, he added.
In his speech, Sunil Benimadhu, Chief Executive of the SEM, said, “We congratulate Afreximbank for the successful listing of its Depositary Receipts on SEM and we thank the Board and Management of Afreximbank for having opted for Mauritius as their jurisdictional choice for the launch of this innovative initiative. The listing and trading of Afreximbank’s DR on SEM confirms the SEM’s successful positioning as an attractive capital-raising, listing and trading platform for well-established African issuers and niche international products.”
In his own remarks, Kee Chong Li Kwong Wing, Chairman of SBM Holdings Ltd, noted that all the parties involved in the issuance and listing, from the issuing organisation, to the arranger, co-advisors and the stock exchange, were African entities, saying that that made the listing a landmark accomplishment and a groundbreaking success story in Africa’s financial industry.