Captains of Ghana?s capital market said here on Wednesday that they were ready to assist the country?s utility companies to raise the needed capital for the improvement of their services.
They said the utility companies need to take advantage of the advantage the capitals market has and use it to raise both debt and equity funds for expansion and service delivery.
Adu Anane Antwi (Ph D) Director General for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) made this call here in his keynote address during the launch of the Initial Public Offer (IPO) of Meridian-Marshall Holdings, a private the educational institution in Ghana which is seeking to raise some equity through the Stock Exchange.
The private educational complex which has institutions from pre-university, university and post graduate levels is seeking funds to expand its infrastructure and be able to accommodate people who could not gain admission into the existing national universities and other tertiary institutions.
?Ghanaians should understand that the Ghana Stock Exchange is not only opened to Ghanaians, but also to international investors, so when they issue bonds here on the stock exchange, they are attracting the whole world to participate,? he explained later to Xinhua in an interview.
Anane Antwi cited the example of America where Japanese, Chinese and other nations invest in bonds issued by the Federal Reserve and other institutions.
According to him, the time was ripe for these utility companies comprising of the power distributor; Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), energy generator Volta River Authority, Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) and the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) to seek public and more reliable financing sources for their activities.
?When we listen to these utility companies, they always cite the lack of funds to expand their infrastructure, hence the crisis Ghana is now experiencing,? the Director General told Xinhua.
He added: ?What they need to do is to do their homework well; clean up their books and make their balance sheets attractive for investors so they can go public to raise capital.?
?Utilities need capital and the capital market is the surest way for them to raise these funds for their operations,? Anane-Antwi stressed.
Kofi Yamoah, Managing Director (MD) of the GSE who also spoke to Xinhua said the he had no doubt that the lack of funds was a major cause of the energy crisis Ghana is going through.
?Now that every Ghanaian and every sector is facing the debilitating effects of the energy crisis, if the cause is really lack of funds then debt and equity should help the utility companies to deal with that challenge,? Yamoah averred.
He blamed the problem largely on the desire by African governments to shoulder too many burdens alone, leaving a thin line of financing to spread across many needs, while the private investors also invest for profit so the balance should be found in debt and equity, backed by good financial planning and administration for these institutions. Enditem.