Ghana Stocks, Africa Third-Best, to Gain 15% in 2011 on Oil

Ghana’s stocks measure, Africa’s third-best performer this year, is poised to rally as much as 15 percent in 2011 as companies gain from growth linked to the start of oil output, Databank Group said.

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The exchange’s All-Share index may rise to 8,338.65 by the end of 2011, after climbing to 7,251 by this year’s end, said Doris Yaa Ahiati, an analyst with the Accra-based group’s stockbroking unit. Databank’s asset-management unit oversees 250 million cedis ($173 million) of funds.

“We expect the market to benefit from oil production, which will lift economic growth from about 5.9 percent this year to 12.3 percent next year,” she said in an interview in Accra yesterday.

The 36-member bourse, which plunged 47 percent in 2009 to make it the world’s worst performer that year, has advanced 25 percent in 2010 because of “renewing interest from foreigners” who fled investments perceived as risky during the global economic crisis, Ahiati said. This month’s start of production at the Jubilee oil field will spur growth in the West African nation, Finance Minister Kwabena Duffuor said last month.

“We foresee an increase in the demand of the goods of the consumer stocks,” Ahiati said, citing Unilever Ghana Ltd., PZ Cussons Ghana Ltd. and Fan Milk Ltd.

Tullow Oil Plc, the U.K.-based operator of the Jubilee field, plans to list on the Ghanaian bourse next year, Accra- based broadcaster Joy FM reported Nov. 29. Comet Properties Ltd. will become the first real-estate company to trade shares on the exchange after an initial public offering set for this month.

Aluworks Ghana Ltd., a manufacturer of aluminum products whose shares declined 57 percent this year, will benefit from the restart of operations next year of the Volta Aluminium Co., which supplies raw material to the company, Ahiati said. Only 200 of the company’s shares changed hands last month.

Liquidity on the market will be boosted by a pension law that allows employees to save part of their contributions with a private fund means managers will “come to the market next year grabbing whatever they get.”