The Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE) on Monday registered a new entrant following the listing of Mauritius registered FMB Capital Holdings (FMBCH).
The development has brought the number of listed companies on the local bourse to 14.
Over the past couple of weeks, FMB shareholders were invited to swap their shares in the bank in exchange with shares in the Mauritius-based holding company.
FMBCH Chairman, Hitesh Anadkat, said Mauritius provides a better platform to raise capital than Malawi.
“Firstly, we need to be capital ready for banks in four and probably five countries, instead of just one. It has become quite common for central banks to dramatically change minimum capital requirements. We experienced this in Zambia and Mozambique,” Anadkat said.
He said the firm’s board was not confident that there would be adequate capital in Malawi at the right price.
“International investors like to buy equity in countries with no capital controls and where there is a history of relative exchange rate stability and availability.
“We, therefore, concluded that the best route would be to be domiciled in an offshore centre and dual list in Malawi and probably in a country like Mauritius,” Anadkat said.
MSE Chief Executive Officer, John Kamanga, said the listing of FMBCH is a sign of confidence that investors have in the local market.
FMB listed on the MSE in 2006 to raise capital. Over the years, the firm’s price has risen from the listing price of K2.50 to K45.01 as of Monday.
One of the advisors of the transaction, Armstrong Kamphoni, said shareholders have welcomed the listing of FMBCH.