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Business News of Wednesday, 24 January 2007

Source: GNA

Lord Mayor of City of London visits GSE

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Accra, Jan. 24, GNA - The Ghana Stock Exchange says it is firmly focused in deepening local investors' participation in the trading activities as a means to enhancing the growth of the bourse.

A Senior Official of the Bourse said on Monday that the active involvement of the domestic investor was essential in whipping up the interest of their foreign counterparts in the market.

Mr Kofi Yamoah, Managing Director of the Ghana Stock Exchange, was speaking during a visit of Alderman John Stuttard, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, to the Exchange.

The Stock Exchange currently has about 200,000 investors, both foreign and local.

Mr Yamoah said the exchange was committed to automating the trading platform this year to allow for continuous trading of shares. There are also plans to send the securities to the Central Security Depository this year once the law is passed while the current system of issuing paper certificates to shareholders was gradually being phased out.

Mr Yamoah told the Lord Mayor that the Accra Bourse, though very young, had made tremendous progress and achieved an enviable return of 154 per cent for investors in 2003 and 2004.

He said the Bourse was working to attract potential companies, especially the small and medium scale enterprises to list on it through special incentives in the Exchange's rule book, which would come into effect soon.

Ms Abena Amoah, a member of the Council of the Exchange, said more actions were being taken to enhance the corporate governance of the companies listed on the bourse.

Dr Nii Kwaku Sowa, Acting Chief Executive of the Securities and Exchange Commission, said more education was needed on the importance of the stock market to secure the active participation of the players. He said the market was currently slow in responding to key changes in the macro-economic environment unlike the trend in the developed countries where major occurrences could trigger changes on the performance of stocks.

Lord Mayor Stuttard said Ghana had a strong vibrant economy that could stimulate the growth of the stock exchange.

He said good governance, a steady growth in Gross Domestic Product and a falling inflation were ingredients necessary for building a strong stock market.

He stressed the need for the GSE to consider merging with other stock exchanges in the West Africa Sub-Region to increase their presence in the world. 24 Jan. 07

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