Measuring the systematic risk of companies listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange

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The Beta of a stock is an index which measures its volatility relative to the market rate of return (Systematic risk). The beta of a stock is a critical component in not just valuing a stock but a company as well. Beta gives investors a fair idea of the risk associated with a particular security relative to the market, as such, enables them make informed decisions. Arguably, the absence of valid beta data of companies listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) has partially contributed to the unattractiveness of the stock market as both local and foreign investors are not well informed about the risk of particular stocks. Thus, this research, seeks to provide investors and academicians with valid beta data. Of the 37 companies listed on the GSE the researcher measured the betas of 36 companies using the Market Model. Research results revealed that, most companies listed on the GSE would be considered defensive stocks because they have beta values less than the overall market (1). Hence, the returns of most stocks vary less than proportionately than the returns of the entire market. In the words of the average investor, this would mean that stocks listed on the GSE are not risky. Based on the research findings, it is recommended that, future studies such as, testing the effect of various models of beta estimation in the Ghanaian market be conducted in order to complement this work.
Thesis submitted to the Department of Business Administration, Ashesi University College, in partial fulfillment of Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, April 2010
Ghana, beta, stock, systematic risk, Ghana Stock Exchange, defensive stocks