My last post on Bralirwa was met with enthusiasm then disappointment. A few readers commented that the post was a tease and it is hard if not impossible to trade the stock. I wanted to see how true their assertion was so I took it upon myself to do a little research.
The method I used to find a broker in Rwanda is no different than how I'd find a broker anywhere else in the world. The technique is crude but works, I'm not original with the idea, I borrowed it from the book The World Is Your Oyster. The book is about global investing with some reasons why to invest globally but mainly how to do it. The book was written before American brokerage firms had the ability to trade internationally so trading in New Zealand meant calling New Zealand and opening an account. The book is alright, I borrowed it from the library and read it in a few days, I'd recommend that. If you want to read it I wouldn't recommend paying more than a few dollars for it used.
To find a Rwandan brokerage I went to the Rwanda Stock Exchange website and I surfed around until I found a page with the firms who have access listed. I then emailed every single firm listed on the page asking if they would allow an American to open an account in local currency and if I could trade Bralirwa. The next business day I had an email from Core Securities that it wouldn't be a problem at all. All I had to do was fill out an account opening form, give them a copy of my passport, a signature, and a passport photo. After that I could wire them the money and trade in Rwanda Franc any of the three stocks I wanted. Of course there is some risk here, you're wiring money to someone in a country you've never met and who knows what safeguards or assurances exist.
I'm not actually going to open an account because while Bralirwa looks interesting it's also the first stock I've looked at in Africa. But I did want to point out this isn't a fantasy trade. I also know that institutional investors have access to the Africa market. For most readers their primary broker might not have access but access can be gained through opening a new account. An objection to this might be that investing globally in non-developed markets could result in a number of new brokerage accounts to hold one or two stocks. Yes this is true, if you go this route the goal is to find a market with a lot of cross listings. So in Africa, Kenya and Nigeria are markets containing a lot of cross listings. Opening an account in either Kenya or Nigeria might maximize the investable options in Africa. Of course if your goal is to only trade Bralirwa then you'd need to have an account in Rwanda.
If anyone is actually interested in opening an account to trade this stock drop me an email at the link below and I'll pass along the firm contact and account opening instructions.
Talk to Nate
Disclosure: No positions