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Business News of Saturday, 26 January 2019


Ghana Stock Exchange to leverage on mobile application for secondary trading

Managing Director of GSE, Kofi Yamoah Managing Director of GSE, Kofi Yamoah

The Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) is to work on the deployment of a mobile application for the secondary trading of listed securities.

Kofi Yamoah, the Managing Director of GSE said the Exchange would leverage on the approach of mobile money application, where investors could buy their shares and trade on the secondary market.

Mr Yamoah was speaking at a press briefing on the review of the stock market in 2018 in Accra.

He said “the GSE is looking at building on what MTN did in its latest IPO.”

He said the global stock market in 2018 suffered the worst year in a decade and nearly all African markets also suffered losses.

On global market environment, the MD said there were slower global growth especially in China and the political uncertainty and setbacks in the United State and Europe also affected the market.

He said the GSE composite index was flat at -0.29 per cent and the GSE financial index lost 6.79 per cent as compared to positive 52.73 per cent and 49.51 per cent respectively in 2017.

He said 2018 saw the telecommunication sector, now represented on the market by virtue of the biggest telecommunication company MTN, being listed on the market.

“Three non-performing equity securities were de-listed,” he said.

On factors behind GSE’s market performance, Mr Yamoah said inflation trended down and reached a single digit for the first time in over five years at 9.4 per cent in December, 2018.

He said new oil and gas field discoveries, means additional revenue for government as well as the satisfactory review by the international Monetary Fund of Ghana’s economy contributed to the performance.

He said the GSE’s market performance was also due to the continued strong investor confidence and interest in the Ghanaian economy, adding that, even though there were positives, the market also witnessed some negative like the pressure on the Cedi from a strong United State dollar leading to an 8. 39 per cent depreciation of the Cedi.

He said challenges in the banking and non-banking sectors, where seven banks failed in the last two years, mixed results of listed companies and securities sell-off by non-resident investors, due to rise in United State federal rates and profit-taking, affected the market.

Mr Yamoah said on the outlook for 2019, the GSE would facilitate the introduction of securities lending and borrowing and would improve market compliance by dealers and issuers through the use of technology such as a reporting portal.

“We will continue stakeholder engagements on GSE’s plans to demutualize in the short to medium term,” he added.

He said Vodafone Ghana should be made to go public to off load part of the 30 per cent in the company to enable the public to own a stake on the company.

He said adb bank shares re-possessed by the Bank of Ghana from entities related to Unibank should in the medium term be sold on the market to the public.

The MD said viable State-Owned Enterprises should be encouraged and allowed to raise equity or debt securities, based on their balance sheet, to better pursue their mandate.

“Ghana should have a formal and centralised reporting framework for forex trading for better price discovery in the foreign exchange market space