BoG Approves First Atlantic Sale

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bank-of-ghanaThe Bank of Ghana has given approval for the sale of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) shares in First Atlantic Merchant Bank.

The Central Bank, according to information reaching CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE, gave Nigeria based equity firm Kaderi Nominees the go-ahead to acquire SSNIT’s 50 percent stake in the indigenous bank.

SSNIT had earlier indicated its quest to sell some of its stake in banks that it has controlling stake in. Presently, the sale of the trust shares in TTB to Ecobank is under scrutiny as the Central Bank sets up a three-member committee to oversee the sale.

This paper gathers that SSNIT is rationalizing its participation in some holdings because of the implementation of the pension reforms which has resulted in a dip in their investments.

It will be recalled that BUSINESS GUIDE, a sister paper of DAILY GUIDE reported that SSNIT had indicated its readiness to rationalize its participation in banks it has controlling stakes in.

At the moment, SSNIT has shares in 11 banks including The Trust Bank (TTB) which is almost on the brink of being sold to Ecobank. However, this decision has been met with strict resistance from civil society and other pressure groups.

The 11 banks which SSNIT has controlling stakes in are TTB (61 percent), Merchant (68.75 percent), HFC (24.36), CAL (34.49 percent), First Atlantic Merchant ( 50 percent plus), Ghana Commercial Bank (29.81 percent), SG SSB (22.14 percent), Stanchart (14.34 percent), Ecobank Ghana (0.94 percent), Prudential (7.65 percent) and Fidelity Bank (15 percent).

It also has stakes in some finance houses including SDC Finance and Leasing and CDH Financial Holdings Limited.

Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur, Governor of the Bank of Ghana, at an MPC meeting reiterated the decision by the SSNIT board, headed by Kwame Peprah, to withdraw its participation in a number of banks it has invested in.

According to Mr Amissah-Arthur, the Bank of Ghana had agreed to SSNIT’s request to sell some of its shares in the banks.

“We want SSNIT to withdraw some of its participation in the banks it has shares. The board itself has told us they want to rationalize participation in some of the banks. They have indicated to sell some shares to strategic investors,” the Governor noted at an MPC press briefing in September.

Besides offloading some its shares in the banks, SSNIT also plans to reduce its participation in some manufacturing and agro-processing firms.

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