The Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Adu Anane-Antwi, has stressed the need for multinationals operating in the country to be compelled to list on the local bourse as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities in the country.
“The best CSR activity these multinationals can do for the country and its people is for them to offload some of their stake to the people through the stock market and not necessarily building a few schools for the villages in which they operate among others things,” he said.
The SEC Director-General made the call in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra ahead of the upcoming Capital Market Week celebrations which commence on May 4, this year.
The call is in response to the refusal of some major multinationals in the country to list on the local bourse to enable Ghanaians to own part of their companies.
So far, only a handful of multinationals, the latest being Tullow, have listed.
In spite of their huge profitability, none of the six multinational telecom companies in the country – MTN, Vodafone; tiGO; Airtel; Glo and Expresso – for instance, have listed on the GSE, although some of them could be found on the stock exchange of other African countries in which they have a presence.
The thoughts of the SEC Boss is also corroborated by the Managing Director of the GSE who told journalists in Accra that it was time to have a mandatory policy for multinationals that do business in the country to list on the bourse.
To Mr Anane-Antwi, the reluctance of the multinationals to list on the exchange was unfortunate although he acknowledged their CSR activities which mostly included the building of schools and the refurbishment of hospitals among others.
“But I still maintain that there can be no better CSR activity by these multinationals than to have them list on the local bourse to enable indigenes of the country to also own part of their companies,” he said.
Dr Anane-Antwi said listing on the stock exchange held a lot of advantages for them as multinationals and expressed the hope that those who had not yet made it to the exchange would do so in due course.
He said SEC had realised the need for some more education about the capital markets and was poised to use the weekly celebrations in every calendar year to embark on such an exercise.
Mr Anane-Antwi said the Capital Market Week celebrations had been slated for May 10, 2013 and they were being organised in collaboration with the GSE and the Ghana Securities Industry Association on the theme: “The Capital Market: A key to Economic Growth and Development”.
It is expected to be marked with a number of activities which include a news briefing at the International Press Centre on Monday, April 29 and a health walk on Saturday, May 4 which is aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles amongst capital market operators and regulators.
Mr Anane-Antwi said the opening ceremony and public forum would be held at the British Council Hall on Monday, May 6.
He said there would be a workshop on May 8, for the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), which would be used to educate the members of the association about the need to use the capital markets to raise funds to run their businesses.
“What we keep reiterating is that, it is better to use long-term funds for long-term projects than to use short-term funds for long-term projects because that was happening and businesses found themselves in financial difficulties,” he said.
He said there would be two conference days, one each on Thursday, May 9 and May 10 respectively followed by a dinner night to wrap it up.
Story: Charles Benoni Okine
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