The Deputy Managing Director of the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE), Mr Ekow Afedzie, has entreated small and medium enterprises as well as start-ups in the Ashanti Region to take advantage of the newly established Ghana Alternative Market (GAX) to raise long term capital to expand their business.
He explained that the GAX, unlike the main Ghana Stock Exchange, had been structured to reduce listing processes and requirements, reduce cost and come with additional incentives for small and medium companies to enable them to access patient capital from the capital market to help them stand competition.
Mr Afedzie was explaining the GAX at a forum to educate the business community in the region about numerous opportunities at the Ghana Stock Exchange and the newly introduced GAX in Kumasi.
He noted that after operating the for over 35 years, it came to light that businesses, especially small, medium and start-ups, had challenges meeting the “stringent, costly and long processes involved in meeting the GSE requirements.”
He said that led to the establishment of the alternative market, GEX, a parallel market to the GSE but with very flexible terms and conditions that would make it easier for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to comply with for raising equity from the capital market, with its attendant advantages of imposed market discipline, profitability and efficiency.
“Come through GAX raise capital and have a minimum stated capital of just GH¢25,000. You also need to float just 25 per cent of the company with just 20 shareholders and file just one year audited accounts or come out with a two-year business plan that will show that you will be profitable by that time”, he added.
Mr Afedzie said under GAX the Securities and Exchange Commission approval would be done within three weeks, while the GSE would also facilitate its end of the process.
With incentives the GAX has such as a listing support fund which was available to any company, interested applicants could use it to pay for the advisory services and pay back at the end of the offer. Regulatory fees had also been pegged at GH¢2, 000 a year.
A businessman, Mr Richard Boateng, commended the GSE for the opportunity to sensitise them to the GSE and the GAX. He charged them to continue the education for some of them to put their houses in order so that they would be able to take advantage of such avenues for expansion.
He said his long-held view that the GSE was only for very well established and huge multi-national companies, had been erased and called on the GSE to work closely with business people such as him to benefit from the GAX.