Business News Sat, 17 Jan 2009

Databank rebuffs bankruptcy rumours

…Claims it is still strong

Management of the Databank Group, a leading investment banking institution in the country, has described as slanderous and libelous rumours making the rounds that the institution has gone bankrupt.

Rumours were rife in media circles after the December elections that having allegedly spent fortunes on the campaign of the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo, the institution risked bankruptcy with the failure of the candidate to win the elections. In a release last week, the Corporate Communications unit of Databank said the rumours which are being circulated by word of mouth, text messages and via certain sectors of the media are false.

“Rumours that Databank is bankrupt and has collapsed its operations are not supported by any facts whatsoever and mischievously seek to cause panic amongst well meaning investors who have been serviced by Databank over the course of the last twenty years in the Ghanaian capital markets and beyond”, it stated. The release noted that such rumours are “inimical to the integrity of Ghana’s securities market, and undermine the orderly growth and development of the financial markets and the financial security of over 150,000 Ghanaians”.

It said “Databank continues to operate all of its subsidiaries and at no time has any of the said subsidiaries halted any of its operations”.

In the heat of the recent elections, notable NPP campaign officials such as Dr Arthur Kennedy and Lord Commey were said to have paid regular visits to the Databank head office for consultations with the likes of Yoofi Grant, Kelly Gadzekpo and Ken Ofori Atta, all leading management fellows of the institution.

In addition to this, not only was Mr Yoofi Grant a publicized member of the NPP campaign team, but also Ken Ofori Atta, chairman of the institution had also been spotted on some of Nana Addo’s platforms.

These had fueled rumours that Mr Ken Ofori Atta was being prepared for the position of Governor of the central bank, should Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo emerge victorious.

Databank was founded in April 1990 and is today a leading name in investment banking in Ghana and across Africa. Over the years, Databank has successfully expanded its operations and presence in the Ghanaian and African markets.

The institution currently has a number of subsidiaries comprising Databank Brokerage Limited, Databank Asset Management Services Limited and Databank Private Equity Limited. The Investment Institution also has offices in the Gambia and in Liberia.

The company has chalked a number of firsts in its 18years of existence. It is credited as the first to develop an independent market index, the Databank Stock Index (DSI) for the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE). It was the first to introduce a money market mutual fund, Databank Mfund and an equity mutual fund, Epack.

Databank was adjudged the best research firm in Africa in 2007 by the Ai Index Series Awards in London and its managed fund, Epack also won the Best Institutional Investor in Africa, 2007.

It has been the lead Manager for a number of successful IPO’s including the recent UT Financial Services IPO which raised the largest amount ever by any indigenous Ghanaian owned firm.

Source: Financial Intelligence