In general, no. Only the permission of the (from your point of view) parent directories determine, whether its content can be listed by a particular user. This includes directory entries, that this user cannot open/read. The mechanism for SSH/SFTP access is the same as with local tools, since the SSH/SFTP server spawns a subprocess for each session and changes the ownership of the subprocess to the respective user, as soon as they're authenticated successfully.
Consider the following example:
david@localhost:~$ ls -la /home
dr-xr-xr-x 1 root root 80 Nov 10 09:05 .
drwxr-xr-x 23 root root 4,0K Dec 17 11:09 ..
drwxr-xr-x 1 guest guest 836 Sep 4 20:58 guest
drwxr-x--- 1 david users 4,2K Dec 14 22:07 david
drwx------ 1 root root 614 Nov 10 12:42 root
As you can see, I,
david, can list the content of
/home even though I am not its owner, since everybody can read it (see the permission mask in front of the
. entry). I can list the content of
/home/guest for the same reason. I can also list the content of
/home/david, since I'm its owner and the owner has read permission. However, I cannot list the content of
/home/root, since I'm not the owner and nobody but the owner has read permissions on that directory:
david@localhost:~$ ls /home/root
ls: cannot open directory /home/root: Permission denied
If one changed the ownership of
/home to remove read permission for non-owners, I could not list the content of
/home any longer:
david@localhost:~$ sudo chmod o-r /home
david@localhost:~$ ls -ld /home
drwxr-x--x 2 root root 40 Dez 17 21:17 /home
david@localhost:~$ ls -l /home
ls: cannot open directory /home: Permission denied
Though, I can still traverse
/home and read
/home/david, because the traverse permission (that's the semantic of the “execute” bit on directories) is still set on
david@localhost:~$ ls -l /home/david
drwx------ 1 david users 4,2K Dec 14 22:07 .
dr-xr-x--x 1 root root 80 Nov 10 09:05 ..
drwx------ 1 david users 60 Aug 24 2014 .adobe
-rw------- 1 david users 83 Dec 6 19:49 .bash_aliases
-rw------- 1 david users 66 May 12 2011 .bash_completion
-rw------- 1 david users 703 Nov 23 05:41 .bash_exports
See Jakuje's answer for a possible alternative approach to your underlying aim.