Stock Exchange courts AGI members

The Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) is encouraging members of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) to take advantage of the Ghana Alternative Market (GAX) to secure long-term financing for expansion. GAX is a new market platform for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with high growth potentials and would accommodate companies at various stages of their development, including start-ups and existing enterprises. At a business luncheon jointly organised by the AGI and GSE, Mr Ekow Afedzie, Deputy Managing Director of the Exchange, said the GAX would create access to long-term capital at relatively lower cost to SMEs and urged the members to take advantage of it. Mr Afedzie said the GAX-SME Listing Support Fund, set up with initial contributions from Ghana Venture Capital Trust Fund, GSE and African Development Bank, would be used to support the cost of raising capital for the companies to be listed. He said the enlisted companies would enjoy an initial public offer financing and underwriting directly or indirectly by the sponsor. Businesses must have a minimum stated capital of GH�250, 000, at the time of listing and at least 20 shareholders at the time of the public float. Mr Afedzie said to encourage the companies to list, the Exchange would waive the application fee and the listing fee but the companies would be requested to pay annual fees of GH�2,000 and a delisting fee of GH�5,000. Mr Kofi Yamoah, Managing Director of the GSE, said the Exchange is beginning a massive education campaign to get companies to appreciate the need to come onto the market. He said it is important for the companies to appreciate a good financial mix of equity and loan capital to finance their operations. Mr Samuel Appenteng, Chairman, GAX Governing Committee, said the Alternative Market is a major opportunity to create a platform to raise free capital for operations and for the firm to overcome the major bottleneck of access to credit.