05.05.2005 Business & Finance

Stock Exchange Council backs SEC

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Accra, May 5, GNA - The Chairman of the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) Council on Thursday pledged his support to the efforts of the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) to ensure confidence in the securities market. In reference to statements issued by the SEC in recent weeks concerning Licensed Dealing Members (LDMs) of the GSE and the Consolidated Discount House (CDH), Mr Jude Kofi Bucknor said: "We support the efforts of the SEC to maintain a high degree of respect and confidence in the securities market by ensuring that rules and regulations and laws that govern practices in the securities market are strictly adhered to by all."

Mr Bucknor, who was speaking to the Ghana News Agency at the 15th Annual General Meeting of the GSE in Accra, was all out for a system capable of identifying wrongdoing in the securities market and stopping them.

He congratulated the SEC for its vigilance and forthrightness in calling its licensees to order.

He, however, urged the defaulting LDMs and companies in the securities to make sure that they did not impinge on the hard won reputation the industry had built over the years. "We are talking about an industry that is holding in trust funds from the investing public and we dare not break that trust under any circumstances", Mr Bucknor said.

In his report to the AGM, Mr Bucknor said the GSE was named one of the best performing stock markets in the world.

"This is a reflection of ... stability of our country, growing interest from the investing public and issuers in the stock market as an important instrument for financial intermediation and the improvements of the local Exchange and market regulation by the SEC."

He also attributed the sterling performance of the Exchange to the new issue and secondary market activity of the market, which grew significantly last year as Benso Oil Palm Plantation, CAL Bank, Starwin Products and Clydestone all came to the market.

The Exchange also took on board the Anglogold-Ashanti merger, the takeover by Guinness Ghana Limited of Ghana Breweries Limited, the two rights issue by Mechanical Lloyd and Accra Brewery and the two bonus share issues by Enterprise Insurance and Mobil Oil.

He described 2004 as an exceptional year as market capitalization rose from 12.6 trillion cedis to 96.6 trillion cedis.

The value of shares traded reached 656 billion cedis compared to the 389 billion cedis posted the previous year, the second highest level in value and volume terms since the Exchange was established. Consequently, the GSE recorded a surplus of 3.6 billion cedis in 2004 compared to a surplus of 0.7 billion cedis in 2003 with total revenue going up 112 per cent to 12.5 billion cedis while expenses grew 45 per cent to 9.3 billion cedis. 05 May 05

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