GHANA – Samba Foods Limited, an indigenous food processing and preservation business, became the first local company to list and trade its shares on the Ghana Alternative Market (GAX).

Shares of the company started trading on the bourse on Tuesday after the successful completion of the initial public offer in which it raised GH¢ 2.5million.

Mr Kofi Yamoah, the Managing Director Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE), said the GAX runs parallel and is not inferior to the main board.

He said the GAX is a dedicated market for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with high growth potentials and at various stages of their development, including start-ups.

He said the main aim is to support SMEs to take advantage of the capital market to grow their businesses through access to a greater pool of capital, including local private pension funds.

It is also to ensure greater business continuity and to enable the SMEs withstand competition.

Mr Yamoah said in introducing the GAX, the Exchange creates far reaching incentives to make it easier for SMEs to list on the stock market.

The incentives include simpler listing requirements, underwriting arrangement to guarantee the minimum offer, waiver of the GSE rights to application and initial listing fees as well as a listing support fund.

He said the support fund was set up to enable companies wishing to list on the GAX to tap into to pay pre-listing advisory, legal, financial, media and other fees and repay the funds after the public offer with no interest charge.

The Listing Support Fund, set up with initial contributions from Ghana Venture Capital Trust Fund and GSE has accrued to GH₵ 700, 000.00.

Mrs Leticia Osafo-Addo, Chief Executive Officer Samba Foods, said the company seeks to have an industrial estate comprising processing bays, warehouses and office complex to house the modern and state of the art food processing facility to meet increasing demand.

“We shall develop new and fortify some of our staple foods with micro nutrients, vitamins and mineral substances to combat micro-nutrients deficiency syndrome in pregnant, lactating women and children in Ghana and the sub-region.

Currently, the company has an agreement with Masco Foods, the sole franchise holder of KFC brand in Ghana to supply a quantity of the KFC pepper sauce on a monthly basis, providing a steady revenue stream for the company.

Samba Foods Limited is a wholly Ghanaian owned indigenous food processing and preservation business, specialising in the condiments and seasoning and was incorporated in September, 1993.