The equities market of the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) is on the ascendancy as its Composite Index (GSE-CI) surged past the 2.500-point mark, accelerating to a 6-month high of 2,518.06 points at the end of the first trading session for the third week in March.
This sustains a rise which began at the end of February and represents one week gain of 5.5 percent, a four-week gain of 5.34 percent and a year-to-date gain of 3.03 percent for the Accra bourse’s primary index.
It is the highest level for the CI since the middle of September 2022, when the market began to dwindle as the prevailing market conditions drove investors to seek safety in other asset classes and markets.
The performance of Benso Oil Palm Plantation (BOPP) and market leader – MTN – have been instrumental in turning around the GSE’s fortunes.
At the close of the trading period under consideration, the share price of BOPP reached a new all-time high of GH¢10.61 as it added GH¢0.96 while contributing to approximately 74 percent of the aggregate turnover.
This pushed BOPP’s share price appreciation to 76.83 percent since August 2022, driven largely by the post-pandemic increase in crude palm oil (CPO) prices and a notably weaker cedi, leading to consistent cash flow and a stable dividend yield of about 8 percent over the last five years.
In an earlier commentary this year, Databank Research predicted that BOPP’s generous payouts would continue in 2023, with an estimated FY22 dividend yield of 28.7 percent following an interim dividend payment in Q4 2022, thanks to the company’s robust earnings.
Starting the year at GH¢7.65, the palm oil producer has gained an impressive 38 percent in price valuation, ranking second on the GSE for year-to-date performance.
MTN similarly advanced for the third consecutive session to a new 11-month high of GH¢1.03 after gaining GH¢0.03.
After reaching an all-time high of GH¢1.33, MTN’s share price began to decline in November 2021 following the announcement of the e-levy, eventually closing the year at GH¢1.11. The decline continued in 2022, with the share price hitting an 18-month low of GH¢0.75 in August and remaining at GH¢0.88 for much of the year.
However, despite the challenging operating environment, MTN’s service revenue grew by 28.3 percent to GH¢9.9billion, and its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased by 30.9 percent to GH¢5.6billion. Additionally, the EBITDA margin rose by 1.1 percentage points to 56.1 percent.
As of the beginning of the year, MTN’s share price was at GH¢0.88, and it has since risen by 17.1 percent, placing it third in terms of year-to-date performance on the GSE.
Databank said in the same commentary that: “We favour MTN GH as a good pick for 2023. The company has demonstrated a consistent dividend payout history since listing in 2018, generating an average dividend yield of 8.9 percent over the period”.
Unsurprisingly, however, the GSE Financial Stocks Index (GSE-FSI) – which tracks the performance of financial sector stocks – maintained its value at 1,884.87 points. This represents a loss of 0.06 percent in the past week, a 4.99 percent loss in the past four weeks and an 8.17 percent loss year-to-date, as the industry continues to feel the pinch of the prevailing national debt situation.
At the close of the trading period in review, the GSE’s market cap stood at GH¢65.39billion