GSE to incorporate ESG reporting in listing rules

BY: Elizabeth Nyaadu Adu
Rev. Daniel Ogbarmey Tetteh — Director General of SEC

The Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) will from 2023 incorporate Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) guidelines into its listing rules and requirements, outgoing Managing Dircector, Ekow Afedzie has said.

He said the exchange was in the process of reviewing its listing requirements and one of the things being considered was the incorporation of ESG guidelines into the rules.

Speaking at the launch of the GSE’s ESG Disclosures Guidance Manual, he said the review was being done in collaboration with all stakeholders.

He said the ESG Disclosures Guidance Manual would guide companies when it comes to reporting along the ESG guidelines.

“And the ESG is about environmental, social and other issues associated. All we are saying is that, once the regulator approves this guidelines, we do some training then after that we introduce this requirement into our listing obligations for listed companies”.

“In other words, listed companies will now have to report some other things than financials. So next year, we make sure that as we review our listing rules we include some of these requirements,” he stated.

Regulatory requirement

The incoming Managing Director of the GSE, Abena Amoah, for her part, said while the launch of the manual sees the GSE meet a number of regulatory requirements, it also comes with a lot of benefits to its operations and that of listed firms.

“It is well-known fact that businesses across the globe have moved beyond solely focusing on financial metrics in performance evaluation, and are now focusing on both the positive and negative impacts of their operations on the environment.

“The GSE is thankful to our partners for their support in producing this ESG guide that helps Ghanaian companies be more accountable for the impact of their businesses,” she stated.

Guidelines are critical

Deputy Director-General Legal at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Deborah Agyemfra, said implementing the guidelines was critical in the Commission’s market expansion goals as outlined in the 10-year Capital Market Master Plan.

She said the launch of the guidelines would lead to enhanced transparency on the market.

“For us as regulators, we want everything to be transparent and fair; and once there is a guideline it makes our work easier, and will consolidate the strong foundation that has been laid,” she stated.

Global practices

Also speaking at the launch, the Director of GRI Africa, Douglas Kativu, said the GSE’s initiative was consistent with global best practices – which have seen the role of stock markets expand to include policies and instruments that are designed to promote responsible business conduct and sustainable practices.

He said the move would be crucial for the GSE’s credibility and efficiency.

“Without transparency, there is no trust; and without trust, markets will not function efficiently and institutions will lose their credibility,” he said.