Ghana’s already struggling stock market has not been spared the impact of deadly coronavirus pandemic as a report by Data Bank Research shows the market has been wiped off its value significantly, once the first case of the pandemic was recorded in March.
The report, which analyses the economy for the first quarter, shows the market saw its lowest turnover in March with a contribution of 14.8 percent compared to 56.5 percent recorded in January and 28.6 percent in February this 2020.
The price-to-earning (P/E) ratio, i.e, what determines the market value for stocks on the trading platform, remains grossly undervalued at 5.58x on a trailing 12-months basis, which is significantly lower than the historical average P/E of 11x. What it means is that, previously, investors, on average, were willing to pay 11 times the price for a stock of a company’s earnings; but now they are willing to pay only 5 times for it due to falling share prices.
Again, out of the 33 counters traded within the first quarter, only eight recorded price appreciations while 13 made losses. Unilever led the decliners on the main board, going down by 14.76 percent. Even the banking sector, which is the most actively traded sector on the bourse – was not spared the whips of pandemic. Ecobank Ghana recorded the worst performance in the sector, shedding off 14.71 percent of its capitalization during the quarter.
Further, the report adds, the Ghana Stock Exchange Composite Index is expected to close this year with a loss of 12 percent or even lower as the pandemic is envisaged to dominate market sentiments until there is clear visibility on how it will be contained and the extent on its direct economic impact is determined.
The Ghana Stock Exchange has seen a poor run for the past two years. In 2018, the Composite Index recorded a loss of 0.29 percent and a 12.25 percent in 2019. Total market capitalisation also declined by 7.11 percent year-on-year to GH¢56.7 billion.