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Business News Tue, 11 May 2010

HFC Bank to raise GH¢15 million from investors

Accra, May 11, GNA - The management of HFC Bank says it plans to rai= se GH¢15 million from new institutional investors in the second phase of i= ts recapitalisation process.

Management, which had already raised GH¢12.4 million from existing=

shareholders in private placement, said the additional funds would enable= it to invest in subsidiaries to better position them for higher earnings. Mr Asare Akuffo, Managing Director of HFC, who announced this at the=

'Facts Behind the Figures' Programme of the Ghana Stock Exchange in Accra= on Tuesday, said the bank would also formalise a new organisational framewor= k to enable the subsidiaries to compete more effectively.

"The banking segment of our business will still focus on aggressive deposit mobilisation and prudent growth in the loan portfolio in response= to growth and expansionary trends and indicators in the economy," he said. Besides, micro-finance lending operations would also be given a furt= her boost with recapitalisation and expansion. Mr Akuffo said branch expansion would continue to achieve representation in most commercially active centres of the country. He said the bank would pursue cost reduction strategies and ensure aggressive cross-selling of their products to beat the competition and reward shareholders.

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Strategies would also be adopted to improve active trading in the ba= nk's shares through a change in the shareholding structure envisaged under the=

new organisational framework. Currently, over 92 per cent of the shares are held by institutional investors, who hardly trade them. Mr Akuffo said despite the challenging environment, the bank chalked=

significant success, achieving its targets under the previous five years strategic plan. He said the bank grew its mortgage portfolio by 32.27 per cent last year, while its consumer loan portfolio experienced a decline due to increased emphasis on recovery. Deposit level grew by more than 30 per cent over 2008 at GH¢138.73=

million at the end of 2009 from GH¢106.95 million a year before. "The bank expects to serve its customers better with enhanced electronic banking services through SMS, Internet banking and VISA ATM cards," he added.

Source: GNA
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