The Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) together with some markets in Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire and Liberia, are pursuing the integration of West African Capital Markets with the ultimate goals of harmonising the requirements, rules and procedures.
Mr Kofi Yamoah, Managing Director of the Ghana Stock Exchange, said this is because the GSE is seen as a small market and the integration with others in the sub-region, would ensure greater access to the West African Markets by issuers and investors.
Mr Yamoah made this known at the launch of the 25th anniversary celebrations of the GSE in Accra on Thursday, which was on the theme: “Building resilient markets for a developing Economy.”
He said GSE has diligently pursued its objectives since its establishment in 1990 under the Companies Act of Ghana, to facilitate the mobilisation of long term capital by issuers in the form of equity, performance share and fixed income securities and provides a platform for the secondary trading of such listed securities.
According to him the from a humble beginning in November 12, 1990, at the second floor of Kingsway Stores Building, it has become one of the leading stock markets on the African continent.
He said it is as the result of a vibrant private initiative that has the support of succeeding governments.
Mr Yamoah described the integration as one of the many soft developmental things that the Exchange has brought unto the financial market in Ghana, and in the immediate years ahead the Council and Management of the Exchange want to consolidate the achievements of the past and focus efforts at improving all its three market segments as far as liquidity, efficiency, transparency and sustainability are concerned.
He chronicled several key developments in the history of the Exchange over the years, which include the exponential growth in business from an initial of 11 securities and three licenced stock broking firms, with all equities amounting to GH¢ 3.05 million in 1990.
Mr Yamoah said this has increased to 40 share securities, 21 dealing members in the capital market space, and a current capitalisation of GH¢ 62 billion, with the Securities and Exchange Commission licencing many fund managers, custodians and trustees numbering about 100 with total funds under their management amounting to GH¢ 6.6 billion at the end of December 2014.
He said the companies have over the years raised more than GH¢ 2.1 billion in equity and GH¢ 194 million in debt securities from the investing public for development, but this excludes listed company funds raised on the market from exclusively external sources.
Mr Yamoah said there is currently 14 corporate debts of GH¢ 97 million value, 98 Government notes and bonds of GH¢ 11.05 billion value, two Sovereign bonds with secondary listing of three billion United States dollars, and several listed corporate and government bills worth GH¢ 18 billion, making the GSE a shared market for all instrument classes.
“The thin and shallow one market segment is now three market segments-the main equity board, the alternative market or GAX dedicated to SMEs and a fixed income market with quite a number of securities on them,” he said.
He said other significant achievements have also been made in the areas of market liquidity, returns to investors, market efficiency due to technology and also regulatory reforms.
He explained that the GSE has benefited immensely from technical assistance from the links of the Canadian International Development Agency, the World Bank and most recently the African Development Bank.
Dr Sam Mensah, Chairman of the Council of the Ghana Stock Exchange, led in ringing the bell as a symbol of announcing the start of activities for the celebrations, and was supported by the other Council Executives and members as well as the staff of the Exchange.
He said week-long of planned activities starting from January 11, 2016, would include an anniversary lecture, an encounter with the media, an open day to the public, donations to selected institutions as part of its corporate social responsibility policy, a dinner and awards night and climaxed with a church thanksgiving service.