Ghana’s financial development has improved more than any other country on the continent in the last year.
This is according to an annual review of Africa’s financial markets.
The Absa Africa Financial Markets Index, produced by OMFIF and sponsored by Absa Bank, provides a toolkit for countries seeking to strengthen their financial markets infrastructure.
It tracks progress on financial market developments annually across a range of countries and indicators.
It is focused on six fundamental pillars which include market depth, access to foreign exchange, and market transparency, tax and the regulatory environment.
The Absa Africa Financial Markets Index 2020 found that Ghana moved up seven places in the ranking to place 6th in the ratings.
This means that the country moved from the 13th position in 2019 to the 6th position out of 23 countries.
Pushed by an active foreign exchange market and a stronger legal framework, Ghana’s overall score rose from 50 out of 100 in 2019 to 59 in 2020.
The Head of Global Markets at Absa Bank, Kobla Nyaletey, at the launch of the index, gave a breakdown of the scores based on the six pillars.
Market depth: This pillar considers the size and liquidity of financial markets, as well as the diversity of products available. Sustained growth and activity in bond markets improved Ghana’s ranking by one place, from 7th position to 6th.
Access to foreign exchange: This pillar evaluates African markets’ openness to foreign investment based on the ease of moving capital, liquidity of foreign exchange markets, rigidity of foreign exchange regimes and availability of reliable foreign exchange data. Ghana climbed five places in this pillar, having the 12th position.
Market transparency, tax and regulatory environment: This pillar scores countries based on regulatory frameworks, tax systems and market transparency. Ghana moved up one place to 4th position, maintaining its strong performance because of a supportive tax system.
Capacity of local investors: This pillar measures local investor capacity based on the amount of pension fund assets available in the country relative to the population and market capitalization. Ghana was number 11 on the list.
Macroeconomic opportunity: This pillar assesses countries’ macroeconomic performance, export competitiveness and banking sector health. It evaluates the quality of governance based on external debt management and financial sector transparency. Ghana was 14th on the index.
Legality and enforceability of standard financial markets master agreements: This focuses on strong legal frameworks, clear rules on property rights and the recognition of internationally accepted legal standards building an attractive investment environment. Ghana had the 5th position.
The first Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Maxwell Opoku Afare, outlined some plans that the central bank has put in place to ensure that Ghana performs better on the international market in the coming years.
He stated that, “Once we firm up on the reporting of the new general based trading regime, the Bank of Ghana will actively engage other stakeholders to begin the process and consultations towards the adoption and implementation of another important master agreement which is the Global Master Securities Lending Agreement (GMSLA). We would also work towards linking the central securities depository to other international clearing platforms like Euroclear. We believe these reforms will further strengthen Ghana as a training hub and champion of the AfCFTA agenda.”
The launch of the Financial Markets Index 2020, which was held in Accra on Wednesday, November 11, 2020, had virtual presentations from Dr. Maxwell Opoku Afare and the Managing Director of Absa Bank Ghana, Abena Osei-Poku.
There was also a virtual panel discussion which included dignitaries such as the Managing Director of Ghana Stock Exchange, Ekow Afedzie, Head of the Financial Markets Division at the Finance Ministry, Sampson Akligoh, the Director of Financial Markets at the Bank of Ghana, Steve Opana, and the President of ACI Ghana, Kofi Pianim.