I decided to write this because of some questions posed to me by some followers of this blog and it is all about the Ghana Stock Exchange. “Is the Ghana Stock Exchange a company?” she asked, If it is a company then who owns it and what do they do? If not a company then what is it?
Just like a market for trading fish, tomatoes, yam and other products, the Ghana Stock Exchange is a platform for trading securities (shares, bonds, futures, etc). Sellers bring their products and buyers come to buy. But because there are a lot of sellers and buyers, they are represented on the Exchange by Licensed Dealing Members (LDMs), (what people called Brokerage Firms or brokers). This means as a buyer or a seller, you cannot go to the exchange to buy or sell yourself (although some do).
The Ghana Stock Exchange plays a major role in securities industry regulation and is thus classified as a Self- Regulatory Organization. With respect to its numerous responsibilities, it simply monitors trading. It has Directors just like a company but the Securities and Exchange Commission oversees its regulation by making sure they do what they are supposed to do in the market and what is appropriate under the Security Industry Law (SIL)- the principal regulator.
When Public Limited Liability Companies want to raise capital for their business, the list shares on the exchange (that is, allowing people to own part of their company), so when investors study the company and find that the company is good and strong among other factors, they contact their brokers for them to make the trade – money, for part of the company. That is what the Ghana Stock Exchange oversees; that the right amount is paid and the ownership rights of part of the company is transferred to the name of the buyer or investor (in form of shares).
Finally, the Ghana Stock Exchange is privately financed and managed with the budget mainly financed by its members (LDMs and Associates) and issuer companies.