The Centre for Freedom and Accuracy has registered its protest in the strongest of terms against the sale of Merchant Bank Ghana Limited to Fortiz Private Equity Fund Ltd.
According to the centre, the sale drew so many questions and could neither benefit the Ghanaian worker nor the national economy as a whole.
The Executive Director of the centre, Mr Andrew Awuni, stated this at a press conference in Accra yesterday.
While calling on the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to stop the deal, Mr Awuni urged the TUC and all workers unions and associations; the Employers Association, GNAT, NAGRAT and all concerned Ghanaians to rise up against what it described as ï¿½ï¿½day light robbery.ï¿½ï¿½
According to the Executive Director, the rationale for the sale had never been clear and what the SSNIT sought to achieve from the sale of its shares had also never been made clear either.
ï¿½As it stands, all we know is that Merchant Bank is being sold, but what makes the sale even more curious is the way it is being executed now,ï¿½ï¿½ Mr Awuni stated.
Considering the number of institutions that expressed interest in buying Merchant Bank and actually presented proposals for the purchase, Mr Awuni said, the centre became curious ï¿½about this new company called Fortiz, which, in the judgement of SSNIT and the Bank of Ghana, presented the best proposal.ï¿½ï¿½
ï¿½Is Merchant Bank looking for a strategic partner or an injection of new capital or better management?ï¿½ï¿½ Mr Awuni asked.
Fortiz Equity Fund has a stated capital of GHï¿½5.0 million and according to Mr Awuni, ï¿½how can a company with a stated capital of GHï¿½5.0 million take over Merchant Bank which has a stated capital of GHï¿½68 million?ï¿½
ï¿½The Bank of Ghana recently increased the minimum stated capital for all new entrants into the banking industry to GHï¿½120 million. This is a requirement before a banking licence is issued,ï¿½ï¿½ Mr Awuni noted.
According to Mr Awuni, Fortiz Equity Fund Ltd, the company, whose bid to buy Merchant Bank has been approved, is actually five months old as a registered company.
He explained that it was registered to do business only in June 2013 while its Holding Company, which is Fortiz Investment Holdings, was also incorporated in June 2013 with a stated capital of GHï¿½5.0 million.
The Executive Director stated that Fortizï¿½s bid to buy Merchant Bank was the only known transaction it had ever made.
He pointed out that there was no record anywhere of any transaction that Fortiz had ever conducted and that it was understandable, considering it that it was registered and incorporated only in June 2013, soon after the Rand Bank deal failed.
ï¿½It will seem to us that Fortiz Private Equity Fund Ltd was created solely for the purpose of purchasing Merchant Bank,ï¿½ Mr Awuni wondered.
Source: Daily Graphic
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