2018 Review: Top 10 business stories of 2018
All too soon the music that filled the air of 2018 is drowning out. We’ve boogied to the business tunes of the year and which song got us dancing the hardest, crying the loudest?
The Banking Blues? Menzgold Mystery? IMF Intricacies? Sinohydro Semantics? Or the Tax Tactics of the GRA?
It has been an interesting year and we have 10 stories that made our list. What’s yours? But first check this out;
1. Menzgold Saga
In what could be described as ‘the beginning of the end’, the Securities and Exchange Commission ordered gold trading firm, Menzgold Ghana Limited, to suspend their operations with the public with immediate effect.
In a letter dated September 7, SEC said it has thoroughly investigated the activities of Menzgold and has found that the firm does not have the license to trade in gold collectibles from the public.
In fact, after that directive by SEC, there has been one controversy to the other with the recent being that Menzgold wants Parliament to intervene in the impasse. And like a raging fire, will the Menzgold saga go away anytime soon.
2. BoG creates Consolidated Bank to take over 5 struggling banks
The Bank of Ghana (BoG) announced the creation of the Consolidated Bank Gh. Ltd to take over five struggling banks in the country.
Sovereign Bank, Royal Bank, The Beige Bank, Construction Bank and Unibank are the five financial institutions that were in a poor financial state.
This was and is perhaps the biggest shake up to ever hit the banking industry. The ramifications have spread far and wide with many still reeling from the aftershocks.
The explicit and implicit costs particularly are exceedingly great.
3. Parliament approves $2bn Ghana-Sinohydro infrastructure agreement
Parliament has approved a $2 billion Master Project Support Agreement (MPSA) between Ghana and Sinohydro Corporation Limited for construction of priority infrastructure projects.
But this was not without controversies – The minority wanted the government to see the deal as a loan; they even wrote to the IMF to seek clarifications.
CSO’s also wanted further and better particulars as well. In the end, its’s barter? No? We’ll leave that to you.
4. Gov't extends IMF deal
The government finally agreed to extend the International Monetary Fund, (IMF) program for one more year.
This is despite several denials that the program was not going to be extended.
The Extended Credit Facility (ECF) which is Ghana’s 16th engagement with the Bretton Woods Institution since 20th September 1957 will officially end in April 2019, as said by the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde.
Madam Lagarde also visited Ghana and gave us a thumbs up on the running of the economy over the past 2 years.
5. ADB takeover?
In an unexpected move that could be the beginning of a restructuring of the local banking space, a consortium of financial institutions that controlled majority shares in ADB pledged their shares, proceeds, entitlement and voting rights to uniBank
The BoG was however quick to dismiss the move.
The Bank of Ghana annulled the acquisition of shares in ADB and thus the bank stands owned by the government and the Bank of Ghana through the Financial Investment Trust.
6. MTN IPO
This was touted as the biggest IPO ever in the country.
MTN’s presence on the Ghana Stock Exchange was and still is considered as necessary for the local bourse as exchanges are barometers of economic activity in a country.
MTN in May formally launched its Initial Public Offering seeking to raise about GHC3.47 billion. Each share went for GHp75 and 4.6 billion shares were issued.
The Telecoms giant, MTN secured over GHC1.14 billion in a historic Initial Public Offering (IPO) and offered local investors a piece of a giant.
7. Kotoka International Airport Terminal 3 opens to passenger traffic
The Terminal 3 of the Kotoka International Airport became fully operational on September 15, 2018, following the completion of tests and simulation exercises.
The opening of the ultra-modern terminal saw hundreds of passengers in both arrival and departures departments of the terminal go through what many say is a rather smooth and stress-free procedure.
8. Tax stamp policy
This final phase implementation process kicked off this year. This involved seizure, confiscation and prosecution of non-compliant members of the public who did not affix the tax stamp on their excisable products.
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) Taskforce visited various manufacturing and retail shops to enforce the tax stamp policy.
9. ExxonMobil, GNPC sign new petroleum agreement
Stakeholders in the energy sector gathered in Accra for the signing ceremony of a new petroleum agreement between multinational Oil and Gas Company ExxonMobil and the government of Ghana in the Deep Water Cape Three Points.
The deal will see the GNPC taking 15% of total proceeds accrued.
ExxonMobil is entitled to 80% of the proceeds with the remaining 5% going to a yet-to-be-named indigenous company.
10. Emirates A380 aircraft touches down in Accra
At about 11:55 am on Tuesday, October 2, 2018, the World’s largest Airbus, the A380 operated by Emirates touched down at the Kotoka International Airport’s Terminal three.
The Emirates A380 flight was operated by Ghanaian-born Capt. Solomon Quainoo, and UAE national First Officer, Faisal Alhammadi.
The one-off A380 flight EK787 from Dubai, stayed on the ground for more than six hours before departing at 17:50 hours to Dubai as flight EK788.
With this, let’s take a flight into 2019 beaming with hope.