Dr. Adu A Antwi
Dr. Adu A Antwi

Ghana’s capital market regulator has reiterated the call for a policy compelling multinationals operating in the country to list on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE).

Dr. Adu A Antwi
Dr. Adu A Antwi

Adu Anane-Antwi, Director-General (DG) of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), made the call in his keynote address here late Tuesday during the listing of Meridian Marshals Holdings, an educational institution, on the Ghana Alternative Market (GAX) of the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE).

He therefore urged the authorities to introduce a policy that would require companies operating in specific sectors of the economy to float part of their shares on the GSE after five years of operation.

“These sectors should include banking, insurance, mining, telecommunications, oil and gas, among others,” he demanded.

He said this policy could become part of the licensing requirements for such companies to operate.
Most of the choicest parts of Ghana’s economy, including mining, banking, insurance, oil and gas and telecommunications are dominated by big multinationals.

“For fully owned foreign companies, this policy will ensure that they do not transfer all their dividends declared outside the country, but pay part in cedis to improve the strength of our currency,” said Anane-Antwi.
He also lamented that Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) received limited short-term capital at a high cost from banks, which was not adequate to sustain their long-term growth.

The SME sector is reputed to be the main stay of the country’s economic development, with 90 percent of all companies registered in the country as of 2013 falling under this category.

Moreover, the sector contributed 49 percent of the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country in 2012, providing 85 percent of all manufacturing jobs according to the SEC.

“SMEs sector is key in the production of goods and services, and employment creation in the sector,” Anane-Antwi said, adding: “The sector is however faced with many challenges with the most pressing one being access to finance.”

He explained that the GAX was established to help SMEs that sought long-term financing for expansion and growth.
“It is gratifying to note that government intends to encourage state-owned enterprises (SOEs) to strengthen their balance sheets and borrow on the strength of their balance sheets from the capital market,” he added.
He was of the view that some of the nation’s SOEs were strong enough to use their own balance sheets to raise capital on the GSE.

Anane-Antwi also encouraged the government to expedite action on the Municipal Finance bill, which would pave the way for local government authorities to issue their own debt instruments to raise capital for developmental projects.

Samuel Apenteng, Chairman of the GAX Governing Committee, urged SMEs to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the alternative market to raise long-term capital for business expansion and growth. Enditem

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