About the Ghana Stock Exchange
The Ghana Stock Exchange was incorporated in July, 1989 as a private company limited by guarantee under Ghana’s Companies Code, 1963 (Act 179). The Exchange was given recognition as an authorized Stock Exchange under the Stock Exchange Act of 1971 (act 384) in October 1990, and trading on the floor of the Exchange commenced in November 1990. In April 1994, it converted into a public company limited by guarantee.
The Exchange is governed by a Council with representation from Licensed Dealing Members, Listed Companies, the banks, Insurance Companies, Money Market and the general public. The Managing Director of the Exchange is an ex-officio member. The council sets the policies of the Exchange and its functions include preventing fraud and malpractices, maintaining good order among members, regulating stock market business and granting listing.
Official Trading Hours
Trading takes place between the hours of 10:00 hrs GMT and 15:00 hrs GMT each working day.
Pre-Opening is between 9:30 hrs GMT to 10:00 hrs GMT.
GSE Composite Index. This index is published by Ghana Stock Exchange.
GSE Financial Stocks Index -This index is constituted by the financial stocks of the GSE and it is published by the GSE.
CBL All-Share Index – This is published by CAL Brokers Limited
Types of Securities Traded
Ordinary shares (Common Stock)
Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)
Trading is carried on the Floor of the Exchange under the Continuous Auction Trading system (CAT). Over the counter trading is however allowed in Ashanti Goldfields Company’s shares. Trading is done in lots of 100 shares on the regular market and any figure below 100.
Delivery and Settlement
Settlement is manual but centralized. Currently, the settlement period is T+3 (business days). It is also delivery versus payment. The seller (stockbroker) of a security is responsible for the validity of all documents delivered.
Comissions & Levies
Regulatory levies applicable on each trade is 0.55% of the value of the trade. Brokergae Commissions range between 1 – 1.75% of the value of the trade
Regulations Affecting Foreign and Non-Resident Investors
Exchange Control permission has been given to non-resident Ghanaians and foreigners to invest through the Exchange without any prior approval. However, one external resident portfolio investor (whether individual or institutional) can hold only up to 10% of any security approved for listing on the Exchange. Furthermore, the total holdings of all external residents in one listed security shall not exceed 74%.
Ghanaians externally resident and foreigners resident in Ghana, though, may invest without any limit. The limits also apply in the case of AGC and PBC shares.
There is free and full foreign exchange remittability for the original capital plus all capital gains, and related earnings.
There is a 10% withholding tax (which is also the final tax on dividend income) for all investors, both resident and non-resident. Capital gains on listed securities are exempt from tax until November 2005
Investor Protection Provisions
The Exchange has various regulations, which have been designed to protect investor, and there are:
A. MEMBERSHIP REGULATIONS – stipulate criteria for membership of the Exchange, regulations to the abided by the Licensed Dealing Members in their operations, code of conduct or ethics for members, etc.
B. LISTING REGULATIONS – these regulations prescribe among others; criteria for listing securities; application procedure; contents of application and prospectus; and continued obligations of the listed companies.
Under the SECURITIES INDUSTRY LAW PNDCL 333 (1993) as amended, the apex regulatory body in the securities market is a Securities and Exchange Commission and its function include:
Maintaining surveillance over the securities business to ensure orderly, fair and equitable dealing in securities;
Registering, licensing, authorizing, or regulating the Stock Exchange, investment advisors, securities dealers etc.
Protecting the integrity of the securities markets against any abuses arising from the practice of insider trading.
Their corporate websit is www.secghana.org
The Exchange’s Council (Board of Directors) has supervisory roles and its duties include the prevention of fraud or malpractices. The Council also has the power to suspend or expel any member who contravenes any of the regulations of the Exchange. The Council membership includes some of the most distinguished and competent persons in Ghanaian commerce, industry, finance and public service.
A fidelity fund is being established to compensate persons who suffer financial loss from any defalcation committed by licensed stockbroking firms or their directors, partners or employees in relation to any money or other property entrusted to the member company or firm.