The Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) has commenced operations in the GSE Securities Depository (GSD).
The GSD is a wholly owned subsidiary of GSE and is an integral part of the GSE's automation project which comprises an automated trading system, electronic clearing and settlement and a depository which holds securities in electronic form.
GSD was incorporated on June 4, 2008 in order to fulfil the requirements of the CSD Act and has been granted a licence by the Securities and Exchange Commission to operate.
The automation will improve efficiency on the market, increase trade volumes and thereby provide increased liquidity and enhance its competitiveness to attract more investors and issuers.
The benefit of the depository include faster transfer and registration of share ownership, elimination of risks associated with delays, lost or fake certificates and easy tracking of investments, among others.
From the date of commencement of migration of securities into the depository, shareholders are encouraged to open accounts in the depository through the stockbrokers in order to hold shares in the electronic form.
All securities listed in the GSE will be automatically admitted to the GSD. This means that from the said date, shareholders of all listed companies can have their shares deposited in the depository.
Investors who have lost their share certificates may present indemnity transfer receipts and balance receipts to registrars. These will be accepted as evidence of share ownership.
Where there is a variation in name of an investor who has multiple certificates, his/her identity shall be verified by checking his/her full name and address. In addition, a sworn affidavit and/or additional identification may be requested.
The exciting development on the GSE securities is that it takes Ghana's market into the fold of automated markets.
Shareholders are therefore being encouraged to open a securities account and enjoy a new era of investing on the stock market.