Shares of Uganda’s power distributor started trading at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) on Friday, making Umeme the first company to cross-list its shares in the region’s largest stock exchange.
The company, whose primary listing is the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE), started trading at a reference price of Sh8.80.
The reference price was based on the (Kenya shilling) equivalent of the closing price of the share on Thursday at the Kampala bourse and the conversion rate from Central Bank of Kenya’s Uganda shilling selling rate on Friday morning.
“Access to trading at both the NSE and the USE will increase convenience for our investors to trade, while boosting the level of liquidity in the stock,” said Umeme’s chairman Patrick Bitature during the launch of trading in Nairobi.
The company now joins others such as East African Breweries, Equity Bank, Jubilee Insurance, Kenya Airways, KCB, NIC Bank and Nation Media Group which have cross-listed at the USE, the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange or the Rwanda Stock Exchange.
The company’s shareholders had increased to 6,489 as at November 28 from seven after its initial public offer in Uganda where it sold 622.37 million shares.
The shares comprised of 272.37 million subscription shares issued by the power distributor and 350 million sale shares issued by Umeme Holdings, which is owned by London based private equity fund Actis.
“The Umeme transaction is proof that this region is mature for capital markets integration. For a long time, we had one way transactions, where Kenyan companies cross listed at the Uganda Securities Exchange and the Rwanda Stock Exchange, while no company from these countries traded at the NSE,” said Paul Muthaura, acting chief executive officer of the Capital Markets Authority.