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JSE to reach out to local firms to cross list in Ghana

The Jamaica Stock Exchange, JSE, and Ghana Stock Exchange, GSE, signed an agreement Monday to encourage cross-listings on their two markets.

Expect some listing activity in the next 12 to 18 months, said JSE Group Managing Director Marlene Street Forrest.

“Hopefully, the brokers will assist us in pursuing this initiative. In the meantime, we will be reaching out to the listed companies,” Street Forrest told the Financial Gleaner following the signing of the agreement at JSE headquarters, downtown Kingston.

Beyond culture, Africa is a fast-growing market for finance and business, added Street Forrest, saying the pact with GSE is a concrete step towards strengthening “south-south connections” – a term used to espouse trade, collaboration and services between developing nations.

JSE Chairman Julian Nair endorsed the pact, saying: “We will act on this collaboration for both of our markets to reach their full potential.”

The GSE is the latest to forge an agreement with the JSE, following similar collaborations with entities in the United Kingdom, North America and the Cayman Islands.

“Before COVID-19, we realised we couldn’t see ourselves as an island cut off from the world. And we have been forging these alliances,” said Street Forrest. “We are starting our foray into Africa via Ghana.”

The GSE has operated for over three decades, since 1989. The JSE is nearly twice as old, having launched in 1969.

Both exchanges are relatively similar in size. The GSE has a market capitalisation of around 65 billion Ghana cedi or US$9 billion for its equities, while the JSE’s market capitalisation is more than $2 trillion or over US$14 billion.

“One of the reasons we are excited about this is that it will lead to an MOU, which I hope and believe will lead to cross-listings where we will have companies from Ghana listed on JSE and vice versa,” said GSE Managing Director Ekow Afedzie at the signing ceremony.

It’s the GSE’s first agreement with a Caribbean nation, Afedzie said. He was joined on the visit to Jamaica by Director General of the Ghana Securities and Exchange Commission, Reverend Dr Daniel Ogbarmey-Tetteh.

The two nations, while geographically distant, are linked by ancestry and culture. Most of the population in Jamaica stems from the peoples of Ghana and Nigeria.

The MOU, while focusing on facilitating cross-trade investment, will “hopefully” lead to greater collaboration beyond the exchanges, Afedzie added.

“We consider you our brothers and sisters,” Afedzie said. “This collaboration will lead to further development of our economies. We know this collaboration will lead to various investment opportunities across Jamaica and Ghana and not just for the stock markets.”

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