Ghana bourse launches SME alternative market in May 2013

gseBarring any unforeseen circumstances, the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) will in May launch a new market platform for Small and medium enterprises with high growth potentials.

Dubbed the Ghana Alternative Market (GAX), it would accommodate companies at various stages of their development, including start-ups and existing enterprises, both small and medium.

Mr Ekow Afedzie, Deputy Managing Director of GSE, announced this at a press conference to highlight the performance of the Exchange in the first three months of the year.

“We are now ready to roll. We have the oversight committee and all the necessary support to start,” he said.

Mr Afedzie said the GAX-SME Listing Support Fund, set up with initial contributions from Ghana Venture Capital Trust Fund, GSE and African Development Bank, would be used to support the cost of raising capital for the companies to be listed.

He said that the enlisted companies would enjoy an initial public offer financing and underwriting directly or indirectly by the sponsor.

Businesses must have a minimum stated capital of GHC250,000, at the time of listing and at least 20 shareholders at the time of the public float.

Touching on the integration of West African Markets, Mr Afedzie said the objectives to establish a larger market for issuers, brokers, buyers and sellers of securities through the harmonisation of rules and the creation of a common trading platform.

He said the four exchanges involved in the integration- the GSE, the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Bourse Regionale des Valeurs Mobilieres and the Sierra Leone Stock Exchange, had taken a significant step to inaugurate the West African Capital Market integration Council.

In addition, there was the signing of a Charter by the Chief Executive Officers of the four exchanges and the Director Generals of the various regulators.

Mr Kofi Yamoah, Managing Director of the GSE, said the GSE would aggressively pursue the listing of more companies on the Accra Bourse to increase the depth and breadth of the market.

He urged government, as part of the agenda to increase its revenue, to reduce holdings in listed and unlisted companies and also allow state owned enterprises to go into the market to enable the public to buy into them.

The GSE Composite index recorded 44.49 percent return in the first three months of 2013 compared with a gain of 8.03 percent in 2012.

Volume traded jumped to 68.12 million at the end of March this year from 37.19 million shares, a year ago while valued traded was up to GH¢71.5 million from GH¢18.29 million.

Source: GNA

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