How to Invest on the Ghana Stock Exchange

I opened a trading account through a Ghanaian stockbroker about five years ago. While the broker has executed all trades that I’ve asked them to complete, I have reservations about referring them to my clients here. Their service has been adequate, but far from outstanding.

So I compiled a list of stockbrokers who trade on the Ghana Stock Exchange and emailed each of them. I asked them if they catered to foreign investors and, if so, how much they required in order to open an account. Of the 20 brokers that I contacted, I found the following four brokers to be especially helpful and responsive.

Earlier this week, we took a look at Ghana’s top bank stocks. In light of this, I thought it might be helpful to run through the details of actually buying and selling stock on the Ghana Stock Exchange.

Ghanaian Stockbrokers

I opened a trading account through a Ghanaian stockbroker about five years ago. While the broker has executed all trades that I’ve asked them to complete, I have reservations about referring them to my clients here. Their service has been adequate, but far from outstanding.

So I compiled a list of stockbrokers who trade on the Ghana Stock Exchange and emailed each of them. I asked them if they catered to foreign investors and, if so, how much they required in order to open an account. Of the 20 brokers that I contacted, I found the following four brokers to be especially helpful and responsive.

  • African Alliance Securities Ghana – African Alliance owns brokerage houses on most African exchanges. They produce top-notch research, and I can testify to the professionalism and expertise of their staff.
  • CAL Brokers – A subsidiary of CAL Bank, CAL Brokers prides itself on innovation. It is the only Ghanaian broker to offer an online trading platform – iBrokerGhana.
  • FirstBanc Brokerage Services – A home-grown investment bank, FirstBanc offers a wide range of investment advisory and asset management services. Their Platinum Account is an actively-managed mutual fund that invests in local equities.
  • Stanbic Bank Ghana Brokerage – This division of the massive Standard Bank Group offers extremely professional customer service, but they do not allow dividends to be deposited into trading accounts. Foreign investors must open a local bank account if they would like to cash their dividend checks.
Photo by World Bank Photo Collection

None of the brokers above require a minimum beginning balance to open an account. You must, however, fund your account before executing any trades.

Trading Costs

Commissions and fees will run you 2.5% of the total transaction value for most Ghanaian brokers. Stanbic Bank Ghana did, however, note that it charges according to a sliding scale. They charge investors a 2.1% commission for transactions between GHS5,000-10,000 (roughly $3,000-$6,000). And the rate drops for higher amounts.

Opening a Ghanaian Brokerage Account

Now let’s walk through the process of opening an account and buying your first shares.

Step 1: Complete and Return the Account Opening Form

The account opening form (aka the “Know Your Client” or KYC Form) typically requires disclosure of your passport number or other ID number, your address, and banking details. Here’s a sample from CAL Brokers Ghana.

Step 2: Complete and Return the GSE Securities Depository Account Registration Form

In late 2008, the Ghana Stock Exchange set up a central securities depository, which records the ownership of securities in electronic accounts, thus eliminating the need for share certificates. This dramatically improved trading efficiency but created one more form for new investors to fill out. This is the form you will need to complete and return to your broker. You will then be assigned a Ghana Securities Depository (GSD) account number. This number will accompany every trade order you place, allowing the GSD to keep record of all your Ghanaian holdings.

Step 3: Provide a Certified Copy of Your Passport and an Additional Passport-sized Photo.

These must be mailed to the stock broker. Note that, for some brokers, a certified copy of your driver’s license will suffice.

Step 4. Provide a Canceled Check or Copy of a Recent Bank Statement

This is used to verify that you are indeed the owner of the account that will be used to send and receive funds.

Step 5. Wire Funds to Your Brokerage Account

After opening your trading account, your broker will provide you with its bank details so that you can fund your account. The most efficient way to do this is via wire transfer. If you haven’t sent an international wire before, I suggest that you take your broker’s bank details to your local bank branch and ask them to walk you through the process. They’ll make sure that your funds arrive securely. Note that most US banks charge about $25 for outgoing international wires.

Step 6. Submit a Trade Order

You’ve done your research and found a stock that you’d like to buy. What now?

While some brokers will request a signed trade mandate form, for most brokers, all you need to do is send an email to your broker with your trade instructions. Keep in mind that some Ghanaian shares are rather illiquid, so I advise specifying a limit price for all of your orders. This will help you avoid paying significantly more for your shares than you had intended to pay.

Your broker will then execute your trade and send you a contract note that specifies the buy or sell price, commissions, and fees. Settlement of share trades takes three days in Ghana, so if you’ve sold shares, don’t expect to receive the proceeds of a sale before then unless you’re willing to incur a penalty to settle the trade more quickly.

Mission Accomplished

That’s it! Follow these steps and you’re a Ghana investor.

The process of opening a foreign brokerage account can be confusing. If you found this walk-thru to be clear as mud, please don’t be shy. Post your questions in the comments, and I’ll do my best to get answers for them.

Further Reading

How to Invest on the Botswana Stock Exchange

How to Invest on the Zimbabwean Stock Exchange

How to Invest on the Nairobi Stock Exchange

55 thoughts on “How to Invest on the Ghana Stock Exchange”

  1. Hi Ryan,
    This is a well explained article and readily comprehensible as a result. I have just opened a broker account in Ghana, my first venture outside Nairobi Stock Exchange, and thought it would be wise to gather some information from investinginafrica.net. I must say that this is one the sites that has given me the courage to take the leap.

    Keep up the excellent job!

      1. Very helpful education and recommendation.
        What are the factors an investor should consider before investing in a particular stock.

        1. Thanks! I’m glad you found it useful.

          To answer your question, here’s a three point checklist to answer before buying a stock.

          1) Do you understand how the business makes money?
          2) Is it a good business, and does it look like it will remain so for the foreseeable future?
          3) Is the stock available at a reasonable price?

          If you can answer yes to all three questions, you’re on the right track. I’ll try to elaborate on each of these points in future articles.

          Happy investing!
          Ryan

          1. Can I help with any get idear about buying stock s in Ghana and which company is to get that thanks

  2. What if you already have a bank account? Do you still need a brokerage account? I want to invest but my bank is not a broker, what should l do?

    1. Yes, you will still need a brokerage account in order to invest on the Ghana Stock Exchange. Contact one of the four brokers listed above and let them know that you are interested in opening a brokerage account. They should be able to walk you through the process.

        1. Simply follow the steps outlined in the article above. At last check, none of them required a minimum balance to open an account. But you will need to purchase at least 100 shares in every trade you make. The broker is compensated with a 2.5% commission on the total value of your trade.

  3. Since the investment is in local currency, with the rise of the exchange rate and inflation how do you match the dollar against the cedi?

    1. Good question, Charles. Stock investments should be pretty well protected against inflation, but they are subject to exchange rate volatility. You can see the US-Dollar adjusted return of the Ghana Stock Exchange here. As you can see, it has not fared well, but this may suggest that there bargains to be had.

  4. Dear Ryan,
    All this is a bit confusing. I have never invested and want to venture for the first time. My question is where and who do I go to. Also, how much start-up capital would I need to be able to begin investing on the Ghana Stock Exchange.

    Please help me.
    Thank You.

    1. Hi Emma,

      I suggest contacting one of the four brokers listed in the article (African Alliance, CAL Brokers, FirstBanc Brokerage Services, or Stanbic Bank Ghana Brokerage). They will guide you on how to open a trading account and to begin buying shares.

      As far as I know, you can invest as little or as much as you wish. I suggest starting small. Stocks are risky, so in the beginning, invest only an amount that you can afford to lose. After you become comfortable with the process and in choosing stocks, you can begin to invest more.

      I hope this helps and wish you all the best in your investments,
      Ryan

  5. I have a question about the CAL brokers form:
    The first line says client account number. Does that mean I first need to have an account with the bank? If yes, then how do I go about it from outside the country?

    1. Hi Robby,
      I guess you will leave that as a blank since you are in the process of registering and you are not expected to have a number yet. I opened a CAL brokers account from Kenya by filling my details online then sending scanned copies of my identification documents and any other required ones. But you may contact them directly for any queries to be sure.

      Kind regards.

  6. Ryan,
    Thanks for the good work you’ve been doing. I am a Ghanaian and a novice trader in online forex. My interest in investing in my own country arose after reading your article. I just have a few questions before I visit any of the brokers.
    1. Can I invest with $1000?
    2. What might be the possible income per month?
    3. How do I know the stocks to trade in and their prices?
    4. How do I know when to place a buy and sell order?
    5. What are the risks involved in stock investing?

    1. Hi Limpo,

      Thanks for stopping by. Great to hear that you’re considering investing in Ghanaian stocks. Let me take a stab at your questions>

      1. Yes. You can invest as little as $1000.

      2. You can derive a return from investing in stocks in two ways. 1) By selling the stock for a higher price than you bought it for, 2) and by the collection of dividends.

      It’s impossible to state with any certainty what sort of return you can expect from a given stock. You or a trusted advisor must research the stocks available and decide which one offers the greatest potential value.

      Dividends are a bit more predictable. But they vary from stock to stock. Most Ghanaian stocks yield between 2-5% of their share price. Therefore, a $1000 investment in a dividend-paying stock will likely yield approximately $20-$50 the first year. (Note that dividends are paid either annually or semi-annually – not monthly.)

      3. You can find a list of stocks and their current prices at the Ghana Stock Exchange’s website.

      4. Knowing when to buy and sell is more art than science and is determined by numerous factors. I suggest beginning to invest only with money that you can afford to lose or with a trusted adviser.

      5. It is possible to lose your entire investment in a stock if the underlying company goes bankrupt. Thus, invest in companies that you know and understand.

      6. The Ghanaian stock market is a much less liquid market than the forex market. So, while terms like spread (the difference between the bid and ask price) apply, they are less pertinent to a Ghanaian stock investor, because it is difficult and costly to day-trade on the market.

      Hope this helps!

  7. Hello
    One more thing. Does the stock market deal with spread, liquidity, pips…etc?
    On which platform can I view these?

    Thanks

  8. Hi there,
    I love your site and just wanted to ask a question about how investment funds get repatriated back to the U.S. What are the tax implications leaving Ghana and then coming back into the U.S.?

    We can use Ghana specifically, though I suppose it’s a larger question for all African investments…

    Thanks!
    Jody

  9. Hi,
    this I’m going off on a bit of a tangent here but I was wondering if you have any knowledge on the possibility of doing a spring internship with any of these firms linked to the Ghana stock exchange. I’m an economics student from the UK currently doing ten months voluntary service in Ghana. I’d be really grateful for any hints or leads you could give me, thanks
    Chris

  10. Hie Ryan, after opening a brokerage account say for $1000(US$) how much is one required to deposit into that account? Finally what is a trade order?

    1. Hi Qubekani,

      There is no charge to open an account and, at the time this article was written, none of the brokers required an account minimum. So, you could simply wire $1000 to fund your account and begin trading. (Note, there will be charges associated with wiring money to Ghana. This could be as much as $50.)

      A trade order is just a message from you to your broker instructing them to buy a certain number of shares of a certain company (e.g. “Hello, Please purchase 500 shares of ABC Company at the current market price.”) Most brokers will accept emailed trade orders.

      Hope this is helpful and happy investing!
      Ryan

  11. I am a Ghanaian living in Norway. I am new in this stock business and will like to buy shares or invest in Ghana. I can buy shares whiles in Norway? But how trust worthy are these stock brokers. Wont they bolt with your investment or try to dupe you?

    1. Hi Dabuo,

      Yes, you can invest in shares while living in Norway. You can simply follow the steps in this article.

      I can understand your fears about being duped, but, in my experience, the brokers have been above board. All brokers must be licensed to deal on the exchange and would face disciplinary action for any corrupt dealing. You can find a list of licensed brokers here (http://gse.com.gh/index1.php?linkid=20&sublinkid=6). For what it’s worth, I’ve recently heard good things about African Alliance Ghana and SBG Securities.

      Hope this helps!
      Ryan

  12. Hi Ryan,
    I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while and find the information you give very useful.
    For the past year I’ve been very satisfied with my broker but recently the customer service was getting quite poor and sometimes I don’t get any reply for weeks, so I wanted to change to another broker.
    Which broker do you use? Can you recommend AfricanAlliance? Do they reply fast and execute orders in time.

    Thank you, Simon

    1. Thanks, Simon, and sorry to hear that your broker’s been falling down on the job. I have always had good experiences with African Alliance. You may also consider working with Imara in Johannesburg. They’ve recently unveiled a pan-African trading platform.

  13. please i have only 200ghc and i want to invest it in the stock market but i feel i should wait and get more money before i venture into it.
    please do you fink its a good idea
    please help
    am in ghana

  14. Hi Ryan,
    I recently bought shares worth 1000 cedis from from a brokerage firm. (Dont want to mention the brokers name). I was assured that I would receive a notification of purchase either through SMS or through email. However, it’s been a week now and yet I have not received any sort of notification yet. Seriously, I am a bit confused now

    1. Hi Isaac,

      I would send them a message (or phone them) asking for the status of your trade. Sometimes, if you are purchasing the shares of illiquid companies, the trade can take a while to be executed and cleared.

      Keep us posted on what you hear back from them!

  15. I find this article very useful. But to clear my head, are those six steps the process of acquiring shares in a Ghanaian company?

    And what are the regulatory regimes affecting share trading in Ghana?

  16. Hi Ryan, I’m not the kind who would like to do a daily stock trading. I do not like shot term trading. I would like to purchase some shares in a company for long time. How is the process of this different from what you have just explained? Thanks

  17. Hi Ryan, will really commend you for this educative information. I really want to trade in shares but i know nothing about it, please how do i go about it and where do i start from.

  18. Thanky you Ryan for this educative articles and responses. I would also like to venture into stock trading. I will read further for better understanding. Thanks again for the intro.

  19. Hi Ryan,
    Thank you for you help. I have shares in banks which I purchased and receiving dividends every year in Ghana. I have GSD accounts number. Can I instruct them to buy shares with my dividends every year? My broker is NTHC Limited and how do you compare to the others in Ghana.

    1. Hi Kwame,

      If your dividends are deposited directly into your trading account, then you can instruct your broker to buy additional shares.

      I don’t have direct experience with NTHC, but I would say that if they respond promptly to your questions and instructions, then I wouldn’t bother moving your business to another broker.

      Hope this helps and happy investing!
      Ryan

      1. Please aside the manual registration is The any online registration for the brokers listed above and if not is the any online brokers in Ghana

        1. Hi Gideon,

          At this time, I’m not aware of any online brokers in Ghana. CAL Brokers used to offer an online platform (www.ibrokerghana.com), but it doesn’t appear to be working.

  20. Hi Ryan can you recommend some books for me to read in order to obtain indepth knowlegde on investment on various portfolios.. will be very much grateful for that

    1. Hi Kanga,

      Most Ghanaian stockbrokers will open a trading account for you for free. But some may require that you purchase at least 100 shares of a company when you are ready to begin investing. So, the minimum amount would vary depending on which stock you wish to buy.

      You can find current share prices for all Ghanaian stocks here:

      https://afx.kwayisi.org/gsegh/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *