President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has charged the Ghana Stock Exchange to strategically position itself to be able to attract more local and sub-regional companies to list on the local bourse.
According to him, the siting of the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the coming implementation of the agreement, offers immense opportunities for the Ghana Stock Exchange.
The composite index (GSE CI) which reflects the average performance of shares of listed companies, witnessed a significant drop of about 17 percent from January to June of 2020.
The composite index instead witnessed a drop of about 8 percent within the same period in 2019.
During a courtesy call on the management of the local bourse, President Akufo-Addo encouraged the leadership of the bourse to fortify themselves and take advantage of the siting of the Secretariat of AfCFTA in Accra and the coming implementation of the agreement itself to attract more companies.
“The AfCFTA has the potential to be a major transformative initiative for our continent if we see to its proper functioning. And in the process, the country that hosts the secretariat has such a dynamic contribution to ensuring its success. We are attempting to make Ghana the regional financial hub and the role of the exchange is going to be critical.”
While accepting the challenge of the President, the Managing Director of the Ghana Stock Exchange, Ekow Afedzie, called on the government to implement more policies to attract more companies onto the bourse.
“As an exchange we have challenges. One of them being, how do we get more Ghanaian companies to utilize this market to raise money and long-term funding? We’ll do our part, but we also need government to look at various policies to attract some of the companies to utilize the market.”
On his part the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, assured the that government has laid the needed foundation to ensure the exchange thrives in the coming years.
“There’s a lot to do, but I think we have really set up the platform to be able to move forward God willing when the President is re-elected in December. Following the stability of the economy, what we have done on the international bond market, it’s now time to really unfurl ourselves, get companies listed to be able to make sure the regional financial services centre becomes real and we demutualize so that there will be more capital to do what we want to do.”