A financial services company, afb Ghana has listed on the Ghana Alternative Market (GAX) of the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) to raise capital to finance the business operations of the company.
afb Ghana, a subsidiary of the AFB Group which has its headquarters in Mauritius, intends to raise about GHc57 million through the market to shore up the capital of the company.
Speaking during the listing, Kofi S. Yamoah, Managing Director of GSE, said the GAX had been created by the GSE for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups to raise funds through the capital market to fund their businesses.
He said afb was the second financial services company after IZWE Loans, to issue corporate bonds on the GAX this year, saying the company’s bonds had been oversubscribed by 30 per cent.
The Managing Director said the increasing attempts by companies to use the GSE to raise funds through the listing of bonds were an attestation that the Ghanaian capital market “has picked up.”
The Managing Director of afb, Arnold Parker said the company which has been operating in the country for the past five years, initiated the move a year ago to list on the GAX to raise capital to retire its debt.
He said it chose the GSE, instead of raising loans from the banks because “GSE provides an avenue to raise long term capital to raise money to improve the finances of the company.”
Mr Parker said the afb which currently has 23 branches nationwide with a workforce of 198, had invested $20 million into the Ghanaian economy.
Dr Adu Anane Antwi, Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission in his remarks, said the decision of the company to use the GAX to raise capital was laudable and, urged other corporate bodies and SMEs to use the exchange to raise capital to boost their operations and grow their companies.
The Deputy Minister of Finance, Ms. Mona Helen K. Quartey, in a speech read on her behalf said in spite of the fact that SMEs played critical roles in the development of the economy through the provision of jobs, they were faced with a litany of challenges including lack of access to finance.
She said government was committed to providing a favourable macroeconomic environment in Ghana for businesses to thrive.
By Kingsley Asare & Helen Selorm