Business News of 2014-01-29

'Plans to demutualise GSE not abandoned'

The Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) said it has not abandoned its plans to demutualise the local bourse.
According to the Deputy Managing Director of the GSE, Mr Ekow Afedzi, the plan to demutualise is still on course, adding that: “we have not thrown it overboard. By the first quarter of this year, we will be coming out with a plan for the next three years, and demutualisation will feature in there.
Answering questions at a news conference in Accra, he said: “as to whether it will be done next year or the following year, I cannot say yet but we still have plans to demutualise just like other markets are doing all over the world now.”
“We are talking about demutualisation; for the sake of others what we mean by demutualisation is moving away from a mutual company to a company that is limited by shares,” he said.
Mr Afedzi said, “As we speak, Ghana Stock Exchange is a company limited by guarantee. We don’t have owners but we have members.
He noted that most stock exchanges across the world were becoming demutualised and the GSE would not be left behind.
Regional integration process
On the integration of the GSE in the sub-region, Mr Afedzi said the process had gone far.
“By end of first quarter 2014, we are going to see some signs of implementation of all the work that we have done,” he said.
According to him, two things are going to happen: “One, we have harmonised our listings; we have harmonised the contents of prospectuses across West Africa; we have passed resolutions at the council level to adopt these harmonised rules and so come end of March 2014, we will see something positive on the ground.”
“The second thing that is going to happen is that we are going to move into what we call the first phase of the implementation of the integration, and the first phase involves giving access to brokers to our markets through what we call sponsored access,” he said, explaining that: “What that means is that if you are a broker in Nigeria, and you have been trading in Ghana and normally you trade through another broker in Ghana, you can still do that, but that is going to be formalised.”
Mr Afedzi again noted that the process would be done in two phases, saying: “You can do direct trading into our system without any intervention by sitting in Nigeria, but then you need to meet certain requirements, follow certain rules and sign certain agreements, so that is the first phase that will come at the end of March.”
“The second phase is where you will see the real integration where brokers who meet certain standards can now trade directly into any of the markets across West Africa and that will be the second phase which will begin immediately after the first phase. So that is where we are - for the integration.” he said.
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