Ghana is one of the best frontier markets in Africa – Report

Abena Osei-Poku

Abena Osei-Poku

The latest Absa Markets Index 2018 Report has described Ghana as one of the best frontier markets in Africa,

Overall, Ghana placed seventh position in the study carried out among 20 African countries to assess how easy it is for investors to invest in those countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Cote d’Ivoire and Tanzania.

The study highlighted on six pillars such as market depth, market transparency, access to forex, capacity of local investors and property rights enforceability and macroeconomic opportunities and in the area of market depth, Ghana placed fourth, 10th in access to forex, sixth in market transparency, 18th in capacity of local investors, 14th in macroeconomic opportunities and sixth in legal enforceability.

Speaking at the launch of the report in Accra on Tuesday, the Managing Director of Barclays Bank Ghana, Abena Osei-Poku said the financial market played critical to the development of the economy.

“As a bank we are aware of the critical role that financial market must play by cushioning our economy and channeling the wealth of savers to those who can put it to long term productive use.  Efficient local  capital market  create access to long term local currency  financing which are the foundation for a key thriving  private sector, the key driver for jobs and growth,” she said.

She said developing local capital market was the strategic focus of the Absa Group adding that “we see this as a pre-requisite for transformative economic growth on our continent and is the reason we are very please to share the second Absa African Markets Financial Index Report, following the inaugural report last year.”

The Index, the Managing Director said, tracked financial market development in 20 countries across a range of indicators and measured their progress as well as develop the financial market framework to enhance investor access and sustainable growth.

Ms Osei-Poku said local investors needed to be empowered to boost their capacity, saying, “This will go a long way to improve the capacity of local investors and reduce our apparent overreliance on offshore investors in driving our economic agenda.”

She urged players in the capital market to work together and bring closure to the reforms in the financial market including the adoption of relevant global legal standards, and the passage of the Insolvency Act.

Touching on the NewGold Trade Exchange Product, Ms Osei-Poku said, “We believe the market need this product, we believe investors and insurance companies need gold, gold is a safe asset and value preserving, re-introducing the product to strengthen your investment portfolio.”

“We are very optimistic about the outlook for Ghana and our very key to collaborate and co-operate with like-minded stakeholders and partners to identify and capitalise  across the various opportunities that exist in Ghana and work together to reform the financial market,” she said.

The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta in a speech read on his behalf said work was on course to make Accra the Financial Market hub in West Africa.

He lauded Barclays for the report, saying the bank was a pacesetter in many things including innovation.

First Deputy Governor of the BoG, Dr Maxwell Opoku-Afari for his part also commended Barclays for the report.

He said the report offered a lot of suggestions to improve the capital market in the country and government would implement the suggestions to improve the capital market.

 By Kingsley Asare

 

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