Business News of 2014-03-28

Integrated approach to investment needed – BoG

Head of SBG Securities Ghana, the brokerage arm of Stanbic Bank, Mr Fouad Idun-Ogde has called for an integrated drive to educate Ghanaians on investment and investing the right way.

A challenge we face as a people is that there is not enough local retail content when it comes to securities, investing and investment issues. Many investors thus choose to focus on relatively guaranteed Government bills and shy away from the securities market, he said.

Speaking in an interview with journalists on Thursday, Mr Idun-Ogde said foreign institutions and more savvy investors had a better appreciation of investments on the stock market and were making very decent returns on the securities market.

He said Ghana was the fourth best performance market on the continent with year to date return of 43.4% in dollar terms in 2013. Malawi was first returning 62.20% while Nigeria and Kenya jointly returned 43.60%.

Mr Idun-Ogde called for a joint effort from policy makers, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE), the brokerage and advisory community and other stakeholders to take steps to educate the populace on the general investment climate and dealings on the stock market.

Trading in equity assets is unique and needs to be handled very well. You cant just ask people to invest when they do not understand the mechanics and the products.

At SBG Securities we make a conscious effort to ensure that all our clients have adequate appreciation of the market dynamics before investing. The various industry players need to drive this awareness on investment, he added.

SBG recently organised Standard Banks 2nd Annual West African Investors Conference in Accra. The essence was to provide a platform for investors to engage with locally listed companies to gain insights on the operations and outlook for these firms.

The conference was also to sell the Ghanaian story as well as raise the interest of investors while improving liquidity on the bourse.

A representative of the Ministry of Finance who spoke at the conference applauded the idea of Government and stakeholders engaging with investors to share ideas and opportunities that would promote the growth agenda of the country.

Also present was the Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission Mr. Adu Anane-Antwi, who stressed that the 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.