On GTV’s Business News, the newscaster said something like the YTD GSE(Ghana Stock Exchange) Composite Index fell 16%. I am not sure whether what I heard was correct. So we ask you the reader, is all well with the Ghana Stock Exchange(GSE)?
Earlier in the week, I read PZ Cussons Ghana was de-listing. Sometime last month I read again that GSE had threatened some firm with de-listing. All is not well with our Ghana Stock Exchange. The news coming from the daily closing prices of the listed firms and of course the broad market index does not inspire hope.
What could it be?
The GSE is operating in a Black Hole. Nobody knows for sure where its corpse are buried and how deep. Yes, thin and asynchronous trading are a huge problem across the bourses of Sub-Saharan Africa. But allowing light to shine through the activities of the firms including their trading prices and volumes will alleviate the problem a bit.
I teach financial modeling to final year BCom Finance students. It is much easier downloading data from Yahoo!, FRED and World Development Indicators into Python and playing with it than getting just the GSE Composite Index.
I am not even going to talk about the listed firms. In this situation, how is an investor to make a risk-based investment decision? Investors with funds, lots of it, have an important choice is their arsenal: where to send their money. The markets of the developed world benefits, almost free rides on the expertise of researchers globally. By making data available for research, these markets benefit from knowing up-to-date what is happening with. And all for this service rendered by academics globally, NASDAQ, NYSE, FTSE, CAC and the like don’t pay a dime.
This global expertise from far-flung place in Africa, Russia, Australia, Europe, etc. acts as an early warning system against a destructive tsunami in the financial markets with spillover effects in the broader economy. There is a benefit to making market data on firms freely available with perhaps a twenty-four hour delay.
In the past I engaged Dr Kwaku Sowah, one time the Director of SEC Ghana. He was not helpful. I followed up with an email the the Chairman of the GSE Board, a mild mannered University of Toronto trained PhD (I cannot recall the name immediately), nothing happened. It appears we have a fixation on the IGF we get selling historical data to academics and have lost sight of the deeper benefits of understanding our markets and making them work for us.
My question is why do we have markets if no one understands their inner workings?
By the way, Sir, it affects what we teach and eventually the quality of products that pour onto the finance job market each year. More so, lack of data is reflected in the topics for research by the graduate students. . . “The effect of…”, “The impact of…”, “The. ..”
There are interesting areas like market microstructure including order flow very vital to the proper functioning of the market that we should be turning our attention to if we are going to compete.
Surely, the GSE can forgo the coin made from selling data and focus on the big picture, the benefits derived from the research carried out on the market by researchers all over the globe.
I need to remind you that frontier markets are now the thing in global investments. Let’s not be left out. Let’s make historical data free on GSE’s website.
I remain. Your humble servant, Ɔtafrigya Gavivina, IP (GIP for short). Source: Carl Hope Korkpoe, Department of Finance, School of Business, University of Cape Coast, Ghana.