SOEs not attractive to be listed on Stock Exchange now—Minister

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The Government is working to turn around State-owned Enterprises (SOEs) before they are listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE), Mr Joseph Cudjoe, Minister for Public Enterprises, has said.

Reacting to proposals that SOEs should be listed on the stock market to encourage private sector participation and improve their performance, the Minister said it was the priority of the Government to first make the entities profitable to attract investors.

He made the remarks when he briefed the media on the activities of the Ministry in Accra today, Wednesday, April 27, 2022.

“…when I hear some people say put them (SOEs) on the Stock Exchange, they jump the first question: Have you made them attractive such that when you are listing on the stock exchange, the public as investors will buy the shares?

“We should be mindful of the fact that we have to turn around the companies that are meant for listing and then when they attain profitability and the shares are put on the stock market, people will invest,” Mr Cudjoe said.

The State Interest and Governance Authority (SIGA) has shortlisted 11 SOEs for listing on the GSE.

The enterprises include the Ghana Rubber Estates Limited, the Twifo Oil Palm Plantation, the Ghana National Gas Company Ltd, the Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited, the Ghana Reinsurance Co. Ltd and SIC Life.

The rest are the PSC Tema Shipyard, the State Housing Company Ltd, the TDC Company Limited, GHACEM and GIHOC Distilleries Ltd.

Mr Cudjoe said since 2017, there had been a significant improvement in the performance of Specified Entities (SEs), comprising SOEs, Joint Venture Companies (JVCs) and Other State entities (OSEs) operating in various sectors of the economy.

He said in the 2020 Financial Year, a total of 177 SEs, made up of 51 SOEs, 44 JVCs and 82 OSEs recorded a combined revenue of GHS130.9 billion and a net profit of GHS12 billion, with a total asset of GHS417.7 billion.

“Per the 2020 State Ownership Report, the State Entities employed 76,949 people, representing 24.9 per cent of the total public sector employment of 309,000” he said.

“There has also been an improvement in Financial Reporting and Compliance. In 2020, 132 entities submitted their financial reports as compared to 18 in 2016. We will keep moving until we achieve 100 per cent updated reporting so that management decisions can be made,” Mr Cudjoe added.

He said though SOEs recorded a combined loss of GHS 2.6 billion in the 2020 Financial Year, there had been a reduction in the losses as compared to the GHS 5.16 billion net loss that was recorded in 2019.

Mr Cudjoe appealed to the media to highlight the gains of some of the SOEs that were performing well to erode the impression that all SOEs were making losses.

“As we get excited by the loss-making and always focusing on that, performance isn’t one-direction thing. Those that are doing well must be applauded and in that case when they are encouraged, those that are lagging behind in performance will be motivated,” he said.

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