Initial Public Offering which is popularly known as IPO comes about when companies issue new shares to the public to purchase as a source of raising capital. Ghana has a wonderful history of IPOs and since the inception of the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE), there have been so many IPOs with an impressive performance in the market. Meanwhile others were just so bad and despite their impressive subscriptions, they traded badly on exchange.
On 12th November, 1990, Accra Brewery Limited (ABL) made a provisional listing on the Ghana Stock Exchange, making it one of the earliest companies to be listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange. This company and others existed before the inceptions of the GSE Public Limited Liability Companies hence were initially given provisional listing status before the formal listing. ABL made its formal listing on 20th December, 1991 (Source; GSE Research Dept.).
One IPO listing was by SPPC and this was from December to February 1992. Eight (8) million shares were offered but only 4.2 million shares were sold to raise an amount of 630 million old cedis (GHC 63,000). Mechanical LLoyd Company Ltd (MLC) also offered 11 million shares as IPO at 50 old cedis (0.05 pesewas) per share from December 1993 to February 1994 and only 9.36 million shares were sold which raised an amount of 468.16 million old cedis (GHC46,816). Looking at these historical trends, it is obvious that early IPOs were cheap but subscriptions were not impressive. In January 1995, HFC Bank stocks were oversubscribed when they made a placement. Shares offered were 11.35 million at 100 old cedis (0.10 pesewas) and 13.10 million shares were sold to raise about 1,315.45 million old cedis (GHC 131,545). Most of the time, shares of this nature were patronized by foreigners because the investment community of Ghana was small by then. Aside the HFC placement, SSB (now known as SG-SSB) IPO in 1995 was also oversubscribed. Many companies like ALW, UTC, PZ, EIC, FML made primary issues which were not necessarily IPOs. In 2006, Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) issued and IPO of 49.50 million shares but 68.44 million shares were subscribed. This oversubscription set the pace for most IPOs and the investment community of Ghana especially the youth, took advantage of them. Initial Public Offers of Camelot (CMLT), Produce Buying Company (PBC), Sam Wood Ltd (SWL), Cocoa Producing Company (CPC) followed and in 2004 alone, four (4) Companies (CLYD, BOPP, CAL & SPL) listed IPOs on the GSE. But how well do the trade on the Exchange?
About two year ago, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) offered an IPO that was largely subscribed meanwhile these shares are facing liquidity problems as at now in the market. Share price of ETI has fallen below its IPO price and shareholders are not happy at all. UT Bank entered the market with an IPO which was also oversubscribed but the question still remains, do IPOs perform well in the market. Shares of UT bank had so many problems when it started trading in the market but is currently bouncing back.
The most recent IPO issued in the market is the shares of Tullow Oil, just weeks ago and these were undersubscribed. Does it mean that the investment community is no longer having confidence in IPOs or it was due to the costly price of this particular offer? As an investor, you must find out because this can inform your investment decision.