Stock Exchange integration will open up Ghana’s market to investors – Economist

The West African Stock Exchange integration is an advantage for the Ghana Stock Exchange as the move will further open the local market for more shares and investors, a senior lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS) has said.

According to Dr Lord Mensah, the merger will help individuals and indigenous companies who put their companies on the market enjoy the benefits of economies of scale which will, in the long run, promote economic growth.

“If we are integrating and able to attract investors from elsewhere…, it comes with liquidity, it comes with competition because the market will be open for shares which will go a long way to benefit our economic growth,” He said in a phone interview with GhanaWeb.

The Economist, however, bemoaned that the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) was not having an impact on the country’s economic growth due to the small size of the market.

“As it stands now we are not seeing the impact of the Ghanaian stock exchange on our economic growth because of the size of the market in relation to the GDP and economy in general.”

Dr Mensah indicated the cross-border listing will be a solution as relying on the internal market alone especially the GSE will not yield much compared to a neighbouring country such as Nigeria which has one of the largest markets in the sub region.

“…The integration will provide liquidity in the sense that if you rely on your internal market alone, sometimes the awareness might not be good for individuals to purchase on it.

“Ghana’s market is very small and if you integrate on a bigger platform for trading then obviously it comes with a lot of advantages in terms of economies of scale. Broadening of the customer or investor base with Nigeria comes with possible huge investors.”

Meanwhile, Managing Director of the GSE, Ekow Afedzie who said the integration of the stock markets in West Africa was on course.

“So, we are in the second phase where we have the West African Regulators Association approving the documents and the rules. Now we are seeking ECOWAS recognition for what is being done so that it can bind all of us together. That is the stage we are now. Then we can move to the implementation stage this year,” he said.

According to the GSE boss, the move will allow qualified West African brokers access to the listed securities and market information in the region. This, he added, will permit them to execute transactions, while issuers will be able to raise capital across the region too.

“So, if you are a broker in Nigeria and you meet the requirements and you are given the recognition you can trade across,” Mr Afedzie added.


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