Five companies, one local, have submitted bids for the contract to automate the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE). A team constituted by the Exchange will start the evaluation of the companies very soon to select one to execute the contract.   The World Bank is assisting the Ghanaian bourse with US$1billion to automate trading. Ekow Afedze, the General Manager of the Exchange said the assistance from the World Bank is to automate our trading system, which would generally enhance the operations of the GSE.

"It is expected that automation of trading on the GSE will greatly increase liquidity on the market, lead to increased volumes, enhance competitiveness, and increase investor confidence among other things," he added.

The GSE is presently operating a T+3 settlement system and has 32 companies listed on the Exchange. Some of the challenges facing the Ghana Stock Exchange were on infrastructure, liquidity problem and how to attract companies to list on the Exchange.

The Exchange has provisional listings meant for small-scale enterprises. This listing is targeted at companies that cannot meet full requirements for listing. Already there are four of such companies listed on the Exchange.

Market capitalisation as at May 2007 was ¢114,317.01 million. About 116.73 million shares were traded between January and May 2007. GSE was incorporated in July 1989 as a private company limited by guarantee under Ghana's companies' code, 1963 (Act 179). The Exchange was given recognition as an authorised Stock Exchange under the Stock Exchange Act of 1971 (Act 384) in October 1990, and trading on the floor of the Exchange commenced in November 1990. In April 1994, it was converted into a public company limited by guarantee.

(SOURCE: Ghanaian Chronicle)