The Ghana Stock Exchange, in collaboration with the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has held a workshop for players in the pensions industry to discuss investment opportunities on the Exchange’s markets.
The workshop shared the current impressive performance of the Exchange and the opportunities, especially in the Exchange’s equities markets, that abound for knowledgeable and patient investors like pension fund trustees and managers.
The Exchange’s Composite Index as of June 30, 2021, was up an impressive 36.16%; value of equities traded grew by 58.53% to GH¢307.56 million during the first half of 2021 compared to same period in 2020 and the fixed income market traded a volume of 107.6 billion, up 117.3% over same period last year.
The performance culminated in the Exchange being adjudged the best performing in Africa for the first half of this year.
Addressing participants, which included trustees of employer-sponsored pension schemes, corporate trustees, pension fund managers and licensed stockbrokers of the Exchange, the Managing Director of the Ghana Stock Exchange, Mr. Ekow Afedzie said, “The opportunities the GSE platform provides for pension funds are enormous in realizing good returns for their principals.”
He said although pension fund investments in fixed income securities continued to increase, the same cannot be said of equities.
“Since pension funds are long-term in nature, opportunities exist for players in this space to invest in equities as well,” he said, adding that “growth in equity investments is critical in making patient capital available for businesses to expand and grow to support the national economy.”
The workshop also discussed opportunities in the Exchange’s three markets: the Main Market, Ghana Alternative Market (GAX) for SME’s and Ghana Fixed Income Market (GFIM). These three platforms have been created to provide options for businesses and the investing public for their investment and capital mobilization decisions.
In remarks read on his behalf, the CEO of the NPRA, Mr. Hayford Atta Krufi, said, stressed the need for a vibrant equities market with rewarding returns for pension schemes to channel more investments in making real impact on the economy.
He said collaboration between all capital markets players was critical to ensure retirement income security and social protection for all Ghanaians.
On his part, the Director-General of the SEC, Rev. Daniel Ogbarmey Tetteh called for pension fund players to invest in long term securities, including equities in their portfolios.
He said the stock market offered interesting investment opportunities for asset owners who have time on their side, such as pension funds.
He also indicated that the implementation of some initiatives in the recently launched Capital Market Master Plan would aid in improving liquidity and listings on the Ghana Stock Exchange.
The GSE shared some key initiatives in their 3-year strategic plan, including the introduction of new products such as green bonds and derivatives to broaden their offers, listing more companies and undertaking investment literacy programmes for key players and the public.
These initiatives are aimed at moving the Exchange from a frontier to an emerging market, making the Exchange the preferred platform for investment and long-term capital mobilization.