By Alecia Smith
KINGSTON, Jamaica, (JIS) – The Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) has entered into a partnership with the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE), which will see the capital markets of Jamaica and Ghana expanding their products and services to investors in both countries.
This is being facilitated under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) of Mutual Recognition, which was signed by representatives of both entities during a special Bell Ringing ceremony on Monday, May 2 at the JSE’s Harbour Street offices in Kingston.
The symbolic ringing of the bell during the ceremony signified the opening of the market and also officially welcomed the delegation from the GSE to Jamaica and the JSE.
Managing director of the JSE, Dr Marlene Street Forrest, who signed the document along with managing director of the GSE, Peterson Ekow Afedzie, thanked the GSE for making the journey to Jamaica, “as it further cements our objective of strengthening our linkages and improving our relationship with what we consider to be another area of our diaspora connection – the South-South connection”.
Dr Street Forrest noted that the JSE continues its drive to diversify and widen its participation in not only local and regional markets but international markets as well, and the relationship with Ghana is strategic as the entity pursues its 2025 vision to expand its borders for growth and sustainability.
“We continue this journey of executing our 2025 strategic mission by going further afield to Africa, starting with Ghana where our people are similar. This is also in pursuit of the initiative to the benefit of both GSE and the JSE, because we feel that we can work together to ensure that there is wealth creation, that there is further development of our markets,” she added.
Dr Street Forrest further noted that the JSE has been collaborating well with many of its sister exchanges within the Caribbean and with exchanges in North America, the United Kingdom (UK) and other countries across the world.
She noted that through the MOU, the JSE is now commencing its push into the African continent, starting with Ghana, pointing out that Africa, like the Caribbean, is the new frontier for growth and development.
The managing director noted that there are certain commonalities that make the alliance with Ghana ideal, pointing out, for example, that like Jamaica, Ghana has a growing, young, educated middle-class population that has a high demand for goods and services.
“Therefore, over the next several years, many companies globally, I believe, will be setting up industries and companies in Africa and the Caribbean. I believe as a stock exchange we are perfectly poised to benefit from such expansion,” she said.
She said the JSE is also of the belief that an alliance with the GSE is a starting point in building alliances with other countries in Africa and to explore collaborations and cooperation on the continent.
“We have 50 years of experience; Ghana has [had its] exchange for 30 years, but we believe that we can leverage both experiences for the benefit [of both parties]. There is sufficient commonality for mutual understanding, collaboration and growth, and this will help to flesh out those areas of cooperation and set a path for a closer relationship, which we hope will benefit our exchanges… and deepen our ties across the continent,” she said.
In his remarks, Afedzie noted that the MOU signing is historic for many reasons, including the fact that this is the first time Jamaica has signed an agreement in the African stock market.
“It is also historic for Ghana because it’s the first time we are also reaching out to the Caribbean,” he said.
Afedzie noted that the GSE is excited about the collaboration “that we believe will last for a very long time. That collaboration [has led] to us signing an MOU, which I hope, and I believe, will lead to us having cross-listers where we can have companies from Ghana listing on the JSE and vice versa”.
“We believe that this collaboration can lead to further development of our economies; it can lead to us collaborating in terms of the broader economies and, therefore, we also know that this collaboration will lead to exploration of various investment opportunities across Jamaica and Ghana,” he added.
Afedzie, along with a delegation from the GSE, is on a week-long study tour of the JSE.