Business News of 2014-02-11

Portfolio investors meet listed companies

The Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Seth Tekper, has urged moderation in the demands of labour and all stakeholders as the government implements fiscal discipline and prudent management to maintain a sustainable economy in support of the country’s efforts to become an upper middle income economy.

He explained that in spite of the country’s potential for growth, the economy was constantly faced with multifaceted challenges, including global price instability, fiscal slippages, inadequate basic infrastructure and higher debt financing costs and called on all to play their respective roles to save the situation.

Mr Tekper said this in a speech delivered on his behalf at the second edition of Standard Bank West Africa Investors Conference in Accra.

The conference brought together 12 pension/investment funds from the globe to interact with 11 companies listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange to obtain first-hand information to help in the investment decision making.

He attributed the low growth rate in the economy to insufficient, inappropriate and poorly maintained basic infrastructures, adding that improving the investment climate would encourage more investors to take advantage of the opportunities.

Capital market

Speaking on the development and prospects of the Ghana Capital Market, the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr Adu Anane Antwi, said investment was key to economic growth and development of the country.

He added that capital market was a necessary condition for development of the economy since it enhanced efficient financial intermediation, increased savings mobilisation, improved efficiency and volume of investment to aid economic growth and development.

Government interventions

According to Mr Antwi, the government in its quest to develop the capital market had introduced a number of policies including the privatisation of State-owned Enterprises (SoEs) through the Ghana Stock Exchange(GSE), the listing of government bonds on the GSE, the removal of investment restrictions on foreign investors and tax incentives for portfolio investors.

He disclosed that the GSE moved its market capitalisation from GH¢2.96 million in 1991 to GH¢61.16 billion at the end of 2013.

Last year, the local bourse’s over 70 per cent yield placed it among the world’s best performers, a sufficient reason why portfolio investors should choose to invest on the GSE.

Investor opportunities

The Managing Director of Stanbic Bank Ghana, Mr Alhassan Andani, later told the GRAPHIC BUSINESS that the depreciation of the cedi would not deter investors, saying “it is not Ghana alone, all emerging markets are facing the same challenge.”

He explained that in spite of the current condition of the cedi in the trading market, the country still had a huge investment opportunities which interested investors could venture into.

“Investors are trooping in everyday because they know Ghana has a bright future at the end of the current crises”.

Mr Andani, however, called for improvement in packaging and export of the country’s products to bring in more foreign exchange.

The conference

Standard Bank West Africa Investors Conference ,which was organised by the Standard Bank Group, the parent company of Stanbic Ghana, brought together investors across the globe to acquire first-hand information from listed companies on the Ghana Stock Exchange.

It was also to provide a platform for information on the outlook of the Ghanaian economy, and the securities industry to help them to make informed decisions.

Direct meeting with companies were also held to provide investors the opportunity to get detailed information on the performance, plans and the future outlook of listed companies, as well as to have their concerns addressed by those companies.

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