The Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) has intensified moves to get taxes imposed on capital gains removed to encourage companies list on the exchange.
Speaking at the Annual General Meeting of the GSE, the chairman of the Governing Council, Dr. Sam Mensah regretted that “the income Tax Act2015(Act 896) unfortunately took all incentives that were in place to make the capital market attractive to investors both foreign and local”.
According to him, the idea to tax capital gains in a time that companies are struggling due to the macro economic instability is a setback to efforts aimed at making the GSE attractive.
“All we are asking for is some incentives that include capital gain tax exempt status for listed securities, a 3 percent rebate that companies listing on the Exchange enjoy for the first three years of listing, and the GSE’s own corporate tax exempt status even though the GSE is a company limited by guarantee,” he said.
He maintained that other stock markets on the continent do not tax capital gains.
“We are respectfully again asking the government for these market incentives to be reconsidered and restored to the status quo ante”.
Performance of GSE “Facts Behind Figures”
On his part, the Managing Director of the GSE, Mr. Kofi Yamoah stated that the exchange’s “Facts behind Figures” programme, which is a forum for listed companies to meet stockbrokers, institutional investors, the financial press and the investing public has shed more light on its operations.
“It is well patronized when it does take place. We therefore continue to impress on listed companies to take advantage of the publicity it provides,” he appealed.
He recalled that in 2015, there were five fora and the companies that appeared on the programme were, Societe General Ghana Ltd, Tullow Oil Plc, CAL Bank Ltd(twice) and Izwe Loans Ltd.
Integration in W/A markets
Mr. Yamoah announced that the GSE and its licensed dealing members have been very active participants in the integration deliberations both at the technical level and the level of the governing Council in the West African markets.
“Under Phase 1 of the integration process (the Sponsored Access Phase) there has been some transactions involving dealers in Ghana and Nigeria,” he said.
The volume of shares traded for the year stood at GHS246 million shares valued at GHS247 million compared to the volume and value of GHS207 million and GHS346 million respectively recorded in 2014.
The market capitalization for all listed securities at the end of December 2015 was GHS57.1 billion compared to GHS64.4 billion in 2014, representing a decrease of 11 percent.
Domestic market capitalization fell by 19 percent ending December 2015 at GHS.11.2 billion compared to GHS13.9 billion at the end of December 2014.
By: Lawrence Segbefia/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana