Managing Director of the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE), Kofi S. Yamoah, has described as unfortunate comments by former Minister of Power Dr. Kwabena Donkor that listing of Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) on the GSE was ill-advised.
According to Mr. Yamoah, the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Pru East Constituency does not understand the role of the stock market in economic development and how it makes companies efficient.
Welcoming the announcement by the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo that government was considering listing GRIDCo and VRA on the local bourse, he said, “We were very happy to hear the President during the State of the Nation Address indicate that, his government is considering listing VRA and GRIDCo. But shortly after, I heard a comment from a former Minister of Power, saying to the effect that GRIDCo for example is profitable and that listing on the exchange is ill-advised or dangerous. This, personally speaking, is very unfortunate.”
Mr. Yamoah, further stated that, “the exchange is not meant for companies that are in distress, even though if you are in distress you can also come to the market to raise funds to turn around your business. For me the signal is that, for the lives of these companies we want efficiency. If you are making profit and you are under utilizing the resources you have, what becomes of you?”
The Managing Director of the GSE accused the former Minister of Power of not understanding how the financial market works, hence his unfortunate suggestions.
“This was a person who at one point in time, asked that, GOIL Ghana Limited goes to Parliament to answer questions. I had to go with the Company Secretary of Goil and tell him that, as MPs they don’t have any business in asking a public listed company to come to their chambers to come and answer any questions. If anything at all, the government has shareholding in it. So, the best platform is for them to come to AGM and ask any question they so wish to ask a listed company,” he said.
“And immediately after that the same person is also saying that, a profitable company must not be listed, then where do we invest pensions funds for example,” the Managing Director of the GSE, Mr. Yamoah lamented.
According to President Akufo-Addo in his maiden State of the Nation address, listing the two companies on the GSE was part of a master plan to strengthen the power sector and open competitive bidding for power capacity procurement, thus reducing the cost of power projects and ensuring value for money.
“We have begun to develop a national electricity masterplan, which will also explore the benefits of listing VRA and GRIDCO on the Stock Exchange.”
But the Former Minister for Power, Dr. Kwabena Donkor, kicked against the listing of the Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo) on the local bourse stating that the move will be most unfortunate and also has security implications.
He said, whoever is advising the Akufo-Addo-government to list VRA and especially GRIDCo on the exchange is doing the country a disservice suggesting that GRIDCo remains profitable.
Dr. Donkor further stated that, “GRIDCo is not only a commercial entity, it is a strategic entity, stating that in some countries, the grid company is on GPS because it is considered a major security installation.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Yamoah called on all stakeholders to support the President in his quest to bring efficiency in state owned companies by considering the option of listing them on the stock market.
“I believe that going forward we must support such comments especially coming from the Presidents so that we can develop the market in our country for all of us and our future generations.”