Rwanda - Banking and securities





From 1922 until the independence of Zaire (Belgian Congo, now DROC) in 1960, the monetary and banking systems of Rwanda and Burundi were integrated with those of the Congo. In July 1962, upon becoming independent, Rwanda and Burundi formed a joint monetary union administered by a common central bank. This bank was dissolved, and its functions as a central banking institution were transferred, in April 1964, to the National Bank of the Republic of Rwanda. The Banque nationale du Rwanda (BNR) was looted in July 1994 but reopened later in the year and has since reopened its branches in Butare and Ruhengeri. The bank imposes foreign exchange controls and administers the import licensing system. It is eager for independence and is wary of excessive government borrowing from it.

There are four main commercial banks, of which two predate the war and two were established in 1995. The former are the Banque de Kigali, which is jointly owned by the state and two Belgian institutions-Belgolaise Bank and Générale de Banque-and the Banque commerciale du Rwanda, which is majority state-owned. The new institutions are the Banque de commerce, développement, et l'industrie (BCDI), whose main shareholders are Rwandans, and the Gold Trust Bank of Rwanda, whose main shareholders are Ugandan Asians. Rwanda also has a savings bank and a postal savings bank. The Rwandese Bank of Development and the People's Bank of Rwanda are the nation's development banks. The Banque Rwandaise de Développement (BRD) was also looted but reopened in mid-1995 with a large amount of bad debt. The extensive rural credit network was shattered and is slowly reestablishing itself.

The International Monetary Fund reports that in 2001, currency and demand deposits—an aggregate commonly known as M1—were equal to $143.6 million. In that same year, M2—an aggregate equal to M1 plus savings deposits, small time deposits, and money market mutual funds—was $285.9 million. The discount rate, the interest rate at which the central bank lends to financial institutions in the short term, was 13%. There is no stock exchange in Rwanda.

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