Business News Sun, 1 Apr 2018

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Ecobank, 11 others ready ahead of BoG’s deadline for capital requirement

BASED on their shareholders’ funds, about 12 banks are likely to meet the minimum capital requirement of GH¢400 million by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) far ahead of the deadline since they have more than enough capital on their balance sheet.

The banks are Ecobank, GCB, Barclays, Stanbic and Standard Chartered Bank, all tier one banks. They have shareholder funds of GH¢902 million, GH¢1.05 billion, GH¢979 million, GH¢889 million and GH¢927 million respectively.

Shareholders' funds is the balance sheet value of the shareholders' interest in a company. The items within the shareholders' funds are stated capital, capital surplus, income surplus, reserves and retained profit.

Other banks that could meet the new requirement ahead of time are Fidelity (GHc500 million), Zenith Bank (GH¢702 million), NIB (GH¢791 million) and CAL (GH¢622 million). The rest are ADB (GH¢507 million), Access (GH¢467 million) and UBA (GH¢498 million).

Among the 12 banks that are likely to pass the minimum capital requirement test way ahead of the December 2018 requirement, only four are indigenous banks.

Time is catching up with many banks as it is barely left with nine months to the deadline of the minimum capital requirement. Indeed, the Central Bank has not hidden its intention of enforcing the policy to improve the banking industry in the country that is having banks with adequate capital, more liquid banks and stronger ones.

Analysts and market watchers believe few but larger banks will help accelerate the country’s economic growth quickly since they can underwrite big ticket transactions as well as remain liquid and stronger. The few but stronger banks they believe will also help to reduce cost of credit, access to credit, non-performing loans, amongst others.

There are about 24 and 19 universal banks in Nigeria and South Africa, compare to the 34 banks in Ghana though South Africa and Nigerian economies are far bigger than Ghana. However, there are foreign banks with representative offices in these two and populous countries.

Media reports are rife that many banks are struggling to meet the GH¢400 million capital though some are in a good position to meet the requirement.

Meanwhile, some banks could resort to the capital market to raise funds to shore up their stated capital. Already, Access Bank and Energy Commercial Bank have indicated their intentions to raise additional capital form the Ghana Stock Exchange. Access is already listed on the Accra Bourse.

Earlier, the Managing Director of the Ghana Stock Exchange Mr. Kofi Yamoah told the media that the performance of banks on the Accra Bourse could encourage others to join the market to raise funds

The Central Bank increased the minimum capital requirement for banks from GH¢120 to GH¢400 million to improve stability in the banking industry whilst growing the industry.

Source: thefinderonline.com

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