Ghana’s stocks are the worst-performers globally in the first
quarter after a sell-off by foreign investors hobbled the local currency and demand from local institutional investors dried up.
The Ghana Stock Exchange Composite Index has lost more than 14 percent this year, making it the laggard in dollar terms among 94 global equities benchmarks tracked by Bloomberg. The index advanced for a first day in three on Friday, gaining 1.4 percent to 2,415.2 at 2:34 p.m. in the capital, Accra.
Ghana’s impending exit from a four-year International Monetary Fund program next month has unnerved some foreign investors, whose sale of the country’s assets has beaten the cedi 11 percent lower in 2019. A central bank-led cull of the banking sector has combined seven lenders into one entity, constraining flows of institutional funds to the stock market.
“Some foreign investors sold their investments because of rising interest rates in the U.S. and the recent uncertainty about Ghana’s economy after IMF,” Kofi Busia Kyei, a stock trader at UMB Stockbrokers in Accra, said by phone. “We are not getting the pension funds and other institutional investors as we used to because they are all complaining of a lack of funds. Their funds are locked up in fixed-term investments with banks that were consolidated last year.”
Foreigners accounted for 78 percent of stock sales in the first two months of the year, according to figures from Central Securities Depository Ghana Ltd.