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14.06.2005 Business & Finance

SEC: We're capable of handling issues in the market


Accra, June 14, GNA - The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), regulators of Ghana's securities market, on Tuesday said even though it was yet to have the full complement of human and financial resources to undertake its activities, it was capable of handling issues that arose within the market.

The SEC admitted at a media interaction on "Initial Public Offerings; The Role of the Media" that it did not have enough resources to identify all the issues that companies needed to place a public offer to raise funds for investment.

Mr Ekow Acquaah-Arhin, Director Market Surveillance, was answering questions on the problems that arose out of the Blue Mont Initial Public Offer (IPO) a few weeks ago resulting in the cancellation of the entire offer. He explained that the fact that Blue Mont had its headquarters outside the country made it difficult to readily get behind all the information they provided.

"It took us a little while before we were able to get in touch with our partners in the UK for action on the information they provided to us towards their IPO." He said the SEC was growing and taking all steps to make it stronger and more responsive to the needs of the market. Mr Acquaah-Arhin, however, said it was not the responsibility of the SEC to lay blame on an IPO or judge, because it was against the rules and was not a healthy practice for the development of the securities and exchange market. He noted that it was not for the SEC to doubt the credentials of any company, but rather work at making the public or investors to make sound judgement based on the principle of full disclosure by the company.

Mr Amenyo-Setordzie, Assistant Manager, Corporate Finance and Investment Management Adviser of the SEC, said the mission of the Commission was to promote orderly growth and development of an efficient, fair and transparent securities market in which investors and the integrity of the market were protected. Mr Amenyo- Setordzie said the SEC relied on the professional judgement of all the parties involved in the IPO process to be successful. He said the securities and exchange markets were highly sensitive and urged the media to ensure that they carried correct and adequate information in order not to jeopardize people's investments.