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Despite the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) posted its highest profit since it was established.
The exchange posted a profit of GHȼ23.46 million in 2020, compared to GHȼ8.43 million in 2019.
The Chairman of the GSE Council, Mr Anselm Ray Sowah, speaking at the 31st annual general meeting said, “this year was unusual by all standards as the coronavirus (COVID-19) ravaged the world and posed some of the biggest organisational challenges in history.”
He said the GSE Composite Index closed the year at 1,941.59 points, which represented a decline of 13.98 per cent, slightly higher than the -12.25 per cent recorded at the end of 2019.
He said the market capitalisation for all listed securities ended the year with GHȼ54.37 billion compared with GHȼ56.79 billion recorded in 2019 representing a dip of 4.25 per cent.
“However, the Exchange had a record-setting year across its markets despite the challenging times.
The equities market recorded its second highest annual volume traded in its 30-year history, with higher liquidity during the last quarter. A record 695,396,188 shares valued at GHȼ575,269,873.22 were traded,” he stated.
30 years of operation
The year 2020 marked 30 years of operations of the Ghana Stock Exchange, which commenced trading on November 12, 1990.
The AGM highlighted some of the successes and challenges of GSE during its 30 years of existence.
From a modest beginning, the GSE has set up three markets namely the Main Market, Ghana Alternative Market (GAX) for SMEs and Ghana Fixed Income Market (GFIM) through which companies have raised over GHȼ18 billion in long-term capital.
On the equities markets, GHȼ5.5 billion worth of shares have traded and the average annual return to investors in the last 30 years is 25 per cent.
The GSE was adjudged the best performing Exchange in Africa in 2008 and 2018, respectively, by Africa Investor (Ai) and continues to shine on the continent.
Performing beyond expectation
In his remarks, The Managing Director of the GSE, Mr Ekow Afedzie, said the Exchange performed beyond expectation amid challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic which slowed down economic activities globally, collapsed businesses and brought the lives of people to a standstill.
“Nonetheless, the Ghana Fixed Income Market (GIFM) smashed the GHȼ100 billion ceiling for trade volumes and the Equity Market closing the year on a high note despite the difficult conditions,” he noted.
He said the Exchange had developed a 3-year Strategic Plan to transform from a frontier market to an emerging market; demutualised entity operating at optimal capacity with an innovative and competitive orientation; and become the preferred platform for financing and investment for both public and private sectors.
“All these are aimed at creating a vibrant Exchange to support its mission of providing an efficient securities market in support of national economic development,” he said.