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The performance of stocks listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) remains subdued as the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic weigh heavily on them.

 

The bourse in the second quarter of the year recorded its worst performance over the past 18 months as prevailing negative market sentiment is said to have triggered intense sell-offs.

 

The GSE’s Composite Index, which measures the exchange’s overall performance, closed the second quarter down 12 percent to 1,899.90 points, extending its year-to-date loss to 15.83 percent, from -4.32 percent as at March ending.

The excerpts from Databank’s Second Quarter Market Review and Outlook showed that the GSE-CI closed at -20.67 percent year-on-year.

 

Analysts blamed the sluggish performance on the pandemic which has worsened already bearish sentiment, and the uncertainties surrounding Ghana’s impending general elections.

 

The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market was deep in the negative with 16 laggards against only 3 gainers between May and July. This resulted in a 5 percent q/q drop in market capitalisation to GH¢53 million.

 

On an industry basis, banking stocks tumbled to dominate the laggards list in Q2 despite the sector posting strong performance for Q1-2020, causing the Financial Stocks Index to lose 364.95 points or 17.46 percent year-on-year.

 

While GCB traded at a 4-year low price of GH¢3.40, Standard Chartered Bank pressed lower to close the quarter at GH¢15.50. Despite securing the regulator’s approval to pay dividends, CAL Bank declined to GH¢0.73 (c.-15 percent q/q).

 

The market’s fall was largely driven by telecommunication giant MTN Ghana after plunging (c.-13 percent q/q) to close Q2 at GH¢0.59. During the quarter, MTNGH published impressive Q1-2020 results with bottom-line surging by c.+62 percent.

 

However, its growth prospects could be stifled by attempted regulatory restrictions.

 

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