The Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) has taken the lead in pursuing an agenda for the integration of West African capital markets.
The aim is to enhance greater access to the West African financial markets by issuers and investors.
The move is also expected to lead to the harmonisation of the requirements, rules and procedures that govern financial markets in the sub-region.
Announcing this at the launch of the 25th anniversary of the GSE in Accra, the Managing Director, Mr Kofi Yamoah, said towards that end, the GSE had planned to consolidate its achievements and focus efforts on improving its market.
“We want to consolidate the achievements of the past, particularly the recent past, and focus efforts on improving all three market segments as far as liquidity, efficiency, transparency and sustainability are concerned,” he said.
That, he said, would culminate in greater financial autonomy and security for the GSE.
Concerning returns to investors, he said aside the significant dividends that many of the listed companies had paid over the years, capital appreciation had been very good.
Recounting some of the achievements of the GSE, Mr Yamoah said 21 out of the 25 years of the exchange had recorded positive returns in its share index.
“These returns have won the GSE a number of honours, the most recent being one of the best emerging markets in 2013 with a return of 78 per cent,” he said.
From the point of view of ease of buying and selling securities, he said, the GSE had contributed significantly to an efficient capital market in Ghana.
He recounted with satisfaction that from a number of traded shares of 1.83 million valued at GH¢10,000 in 1991, the market in 2014 traded 207.50 million shares valued at GH¢345 million.
He said the depository of the exchange now had the equity accounts of over 88,800 investors and those of 728,000 investors with fixed income accounts as compared to the situation in 1990 which was nothing worthy of mention.
Mr Yamoah said from an initial of 11 securities with equities worth GH¢3.05 million in 1990, the market as at October 31, 2015 had 40 share securities with a capitalisation of GH¢62 billion and that those companies had over the years raised over GH¢2.1 billion in equity and GH¢194 million in debt securities from the investing public for development.
That, he said, excluded listed company funds raised on the market from exclusively external sources.
In addition, he said there were 14 corporate debts valued at GH¢97 million, 98 government notes and bonds with a total value of GH¢11.05 billion and three sovereign bonds with secondary listing of US$3 billion.
Besides all these, he said there were several listed corporate and government bills worth GH¢29 billion.
“In short, the GSE has become a market for all instrument classes,” he said with pride.
From an initial of three licensed dealing members in the capital market space, he said the GSE now had 21 dealing members.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has licensed many fund managers, custodians and trustees numbering about 100, with total funds of GH¢6.6 billion under their management as at the end of December 2014.
The SEC, he said, had also licensed mutual funds and unit trusts of about 40 in number who in 2014 mobilised GH¢197 million from the investing public.
He also said the SEC licensed the Central Securities Depository Limited as a unified depository for all securities.