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30.09.2004 Business & Finance

Stock Exchange players urged to use disputes settling mechanisms

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Accra, Sept. 30, GNA - Mr Jude Bucknor, Chairman of the Ghana Stock Exchange Council, on Thursday asked the investing community and market participants to exhaust all disputes settlement mechanisms under the Exchange Rules before resorting to litigation.

This, he said, was necessary because litigation could have a damaging effect on the growth and integrity of the market and slow down value creation and trading.

"I urge all market participants to turn first to this mechanism and fully exhaust it before resorting to litigation, because the interests of our fledgling market are better served and protected when disputes are resolved without acrimony," Mr Bucknor said at the 14th Annual General Meeting of the Ghana Stock Exchange in Accra.

He said the Exchange in its revised rules was setting out the procedures for arbitration in much greater detail to ensure that disputes arising out of activities on the market were solved in amicable and mutually satisfactory manner.

Mr Bucknor said the Exchange's Rule Book was being comprehensively reviewed in line with the vision to consolidate gains made in 2003, in which the GSE-All Share Index rose by 154.69 points.

He said the Exchange's primary focus for the rest of this year and next year would be to increase the number of listings through the exchange, boost market demand and supply to achieve greater trade volumes, improve the integrity and efficiency of the Exchange, in areas of trading surveillance and listed companies' compliance. In 2003, the Exchange value of shares traded rose to 389 billion cedis on a volume of 96.33 million shares compared to 89 billion cedis in 2002.

The Exchange also recorded a surplus of 739 million cedis in 2003 compared to a deficit of 593 million cedis in 2002, a reflection of the growth in the market.

Mr Bucknor said the Exchange would continue to encourage new listings and make provisional listings a permanent option for potential issuers, with appropriate modifications, when the GSE Rule Book was revised.

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