Head of Marketing and Public Relations at the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE), Diana Okine, says the local bourse has already cancelled emergency discussions with relevant stakeholders and potential investors, as part of moves to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The disease has killed more than 12,000 globally, out of over 290,000 cases.
Speaking to Citi Business News on steps being taken by GSE to help contain a possible spread of the virus, Diana Okine said her outfit is not taking any chances.
“In keeping with the directive that the President gave, we cancelled most of the scheduled programs like the ‘Fact Behind The Figures’. We had scheduled some to take place from next week all the way through to April.”
“While we assess the situation, we will give them new dates as things improve. We are doing our best to observe the protocols, as you witnessed with the placement of hand sanitizers at the entrance of our facility. We even check for temperature in addition to more protocols in the main Cedi House building” she added.
Speaking on the impact of the pandemic on the financial activities of the stock exchange, Diana Okine said they do not anticipate any huge damages. She urged businesses to use this opportunity to list on the Ghana Stock Exchange.
“The banks and financial institutional make up the chunk of the listed institutions on the exchange. So if the COVID-19 will have an effect on the banks, then that will end up reflecting on stock exchange. When you take the pharmaceuticals we have DAS Pharma. If it affects them positively, it will also reflect on the local bourse. So whatever effect this disease will have on any of the listed companies, cumulatively it will affect the stock market, so wait to see how it all plays out.”
Effects of COVID-19
Since the outbreak of COVID 19, business activities globally have witnessed a dip, running into huge financial losses. The airline industry is one of the hardest hit with airlines losing billions of dollars due to a huge drop in bookings. Another sector beginning to also feel the brunt of the outbreak is the hospitality and tourism sector.
The 2019 novel coronavirus, officially named as COVID-19 by the WHO, has spread to more than 186 countries, prompting the World Health Organisation (WHO) to declare the disease as a pandemic.
Confirmed novel coronavirus cases have crossed 290,000, while more than 12,000 deaths have been reported across the world, as Europe becomes the new epicenter of the disease.
Approximately, 60% of the global COVID-19 cases are currently outside China, the original source of the disease.