Business News of 2014-06-27

Investors hopeful Ghana’s economic slowdown reversible

Dr Kennedy Annoh-Koranchie, Board Chairman of Tikowrie Capital Limited, says the current economic slowdown could be reversed through a conducive business environment to allow investors streamline their operations.

The financial year has been a challenged one, beginning with difficult outlook but could be upturned by “reigniting the investment cycle and creating favourable environment for investments,” he said.

Speaking at the opening of the first Tikowrie investment management summit in Accra on Thursday, Dr Annoh-Koranchie called for stiffer measures to stem the economic challenges facing the nation. Ghana’s economic growth has been clouded by a high inflationary environment, mounting fiscal imbalance, and rising commodity prices, primarily oil.

Dr Annoh-Koranchie expressed fear that recent depreciation of the cedi, “if it prolongs may translate into further stress on the economy.” He said revitalising investment cycle with infusion of risk capital would witness more activity on fund raising and deployment of funds.

“The private equity industry has been playing a stellar role in channeling risk capital into the country, and has emerged as one of the largest sources of fresh risk capital for the economy,” he said. He expressed the belief that despite the recent setbacks, growth in Ghana would come out in the long term.

He charged firms to consolidate their positions and focus efforts on “differentiated investment products, which seek to generate quality and risk mitigated returns” for investors. He urged government to promote non-oil exports and cut the dependence on imports, adding that, “diversification of the economy should be paramount in the minds of the managers of our economy.”

Mr Francis Bentil, Investment Banker, told the Ghana News Agency that until the Bank of Ghana stopped competing with the private sector for funds, attempt to check depreciation of the cedi would be a mirage.

With the prevailing conditions in the economy, Mr Bentil observed that it is safer and profitable for businesses to buy treasury bills than to extend credit facilities to private businesses, because firms enjoy 25 per cent interest per annum for keeping their monies with the central bank.

He said it also appears monies accrued from treasury bills are not reinvested but channeled into consumption expenditures or unprofitable ventures. He called on the central bank to judiciously use the outcome of the open market operations system

Source: GNA
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