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Stock exchange invites start-ups to list on GAX

The Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) has urged start-up businesses to take advantage of the Ghana Alternative Market (GAX) to raise capital to expand and take their businesses to higher heights.

With lending rates above 30 percent, it has become a major challenge for small businesses in the country to access capital from financial institutions to expand their businesses.

It is against this background that the GSE has lowered the bar for small businesses, including start-ups, to use the secondary stock exchange to address this situation.

“We have made provisions for start-ups; however, it is not all start-ups we cater to; we look at ones with a three-year business plan with very good projections as well as good fundamentals that will propel these businesses.

If we know that your business is viable, we then put it up for the general public to be a part of, because we know that start-ups can’t just happen to be profitable the day after they’re listed. So, we offer them the opportunity to issue bonds, invite investors and grow the company,” Head of Listing at the GSE, Joyce Boakye, said.

She was speaking at a seminar in Accra organised by the Canada-Ghana Chamber of Commerce under the theme: ‘The role of GSE in Ghana’s private sector development.’

Also at the programme, Board Chairman of the GSE, Albert Essien, said the boom in the local bourse this year is an indication that the country’s economy is stabilising.

“The market index gained in 2017; January to October was about 39 percent. It is a significant upturn from the -2 percent and -15 percent for 2015 and 2016.

It has turned good and is going up, but this improvement is largely dependent on the economy. That is how come it is a barometer, so that any investor looking at what the stock exchange is doing would know whether the economy is doing well or doing badly,” he said.

Even though the stock exchange has performed impressively this year, some analysts are calling for an increment in the minimum capital requirement of the market, saying it will strengthen the economy and protect investors.

Bernard Osei-Tutu, Chief Executive Officer of Dusk Capital, told the B&FT earlier this month that: “We, in the industry, acknowledge the fact that there must be sanity in the industry. We are of the thought that for you to be in the industry, you have to be well capitalised. But we think it must be done, and done well, so we don’t let people just get out of the market because the kind of service we provide doesn’t really require large capital”.

The Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Daniel Ogbamey Tetteh, hinted in October that there were plans to increase the stated capital for operators on the local bourse to strengthen the sector and protect investors.