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Actis exits Banque Commerciale du Rwanda

Actis, the pan-emerging markets private equity firm, and the Government of Rwanda have confirmed the sale of Actis’s interest in Banque Commerciale du Rwanda (BCR) to Kenyan regional bank, I&M Bank, and French and German development finance institutions, Proparco and DEG.

Rwanda’s Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, John Rwangombwa (pictured), heralded the sale of the country’s second largest bank as a privatisation success story for Africa.
Actis acquired an 80 per cent interest in BCR in a 2004 privatisation, with the remaining 20 per cent interest retained by the Government of Rwanda. When Actis invested, Rwanda was a post-conflict economy; it is now an attractive investment destination with a strong financial infrastructure and a robust regulatory system.
Rwangombwa says: “The successful equity exit of Actis reflects the investment opportunities that the Rwandan Government has helped foster. The privatisation of Banque Commerciale du Rwanda in 2004 through a private equity investment was the first of its type in the Rwanda banking sector and has been highly successful. I take this opportunity to welcome the new investors I&M Bank Limited, Proparco and DEG. This new sale is a testament to the attractiveness of Rwanda as an investment destination. Rwanda is committed to creating a financial sector that is inclusive and accessible to allow Rwandans to take advantages of all its services.”
Paul Fletcher, senior partner of Actis, says: “The story of BCR is the story of Rwanda’s success. If we think back to 2003/4, the financial services sector was largely undeveloped and in need of capital; a large proportion of the population was unbanked. There has been extraordinary progress in the past eight years with the creation of a growing and competitive financial services industry at the heart of a thriving economy.”

Actis remains committed to East Africa with over USD300m currently invested in the region and an intention to put at least USD200m to work over the next four years.

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