BoG To Offload Shares In ADB By Year End

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Barring any last minute hitches, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) will finally offload its shares in the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) by the end of this year.

This follows moves by ADB to list on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE).

ADB a universal bank, with a focus in agriculture, initiated the move some years back, but was unable to do so because of some setbacks.

A successful listing of the bank on the Ghana Stock Exchange, will see the bank’s capital and branding improving.

Per the current share structure of the bank, the BoG has 48 percent shares, but ADB’s move to go public, will see the central bank off loading its shares.

The central bank has been criticized over the years for owning shares in a bank it regulates.

Discussions among the BoG, ADB and the Finance ministry over the offloading of BOG’s shares, have been ongoing for some time now.
Cabinet, however, last year approved for the bank to go public rather than looking for a strategic investor or a golden share.

Local investors have so far remained tight lipped on whether they will buy the shares when floated on the GSE.

Industry players, has said that some private pension funds and the likes of the teachers fund may be interested in acquiring some stakes in the bank.

There are also fears that some local people or companies, may front for foreigners to acquire the shares, but the Managing Director (MD) of ADB, Stephen Kpordzih, warns such a move will only go to destroy the local niche of the bank.

The bank, whose focus is on the agric sector has about 50percent of its nonperforming loans emanating from the agric sector.

Meanwhile, there are calls for the bank to ensure it cleans its huge debt portfolio before going public.

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