ACCRA, Aug 21 (Reuters) - The Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) will list Absa Capital's gold-backed NewGold exchange traded fund on Wednesday, marking the bourse's first ETF, officials said on Tuesday.
The listing is intended to broaden the exchange's range of products beyond equities and bonds, its managing director, Kofi Yamoah, said.
"The introduction of Exchange Traded Funds to the GSE offers both individual and institutional investors a cost efficient and convenient way to invest in multiple shares or other assets, such as commodities, through a single security," he said.
The NewGold fund, which tracks the rand price of gold, will open on an initial offering of 400,000 units at 31 cedis ($16) per unit, to test demand before a possible expansion, officials said. A unit will be backed by approximately 1/100 of an ounce of physical gold bullion.
ETFs provide investors with liquid and low-cost exposure to underlying commodities or other assets, and trade like a stock on an exchange.
Absa, a South African unit of Barclays, has already listed NewGold in South Africa, Nigeria and Botswana.
"We have been encouraged by the success of the NewGold ETF in the African markets where it has been listed," Vladimir Nedeljkovic, Head of Investments at Absa, said in a statement.
"Africa is an exciting proposition for this product and we will continue to explore opportunities across the continent."
British bank Barclays said on Tuesday it is in talks about combining the majority of its African operations with its subsidiary Absa Group.
Gold prices have more than doubled since 2008 as investors fled equities and bond markets for safer bets, but they remain below all-time peaks hit late last year.
For more information on the fund, see: here%20Traded%20Funds/NewGold/Pages/default.aspx Reporting by Christian Akorlie; Editing by Richard Valdmanis and Anthony Barker