The Governor of the Central Bank has disclosed the five banks under the The Ghana Amalgamated Trust (GAT) umbrella; ADB, Prudential Bank, UMB, Sahel/Omni Bank and NIB have met the GHc400 million minimum capital recapitalisation demand, following an undertaking by government.
The government last year set up the Ghana Amalgamated Trust, a special purpose vehicle, to recapitalize some local banks that needed some top up. This is to help these local banks to meet the Bank of Ghana new minimum capital requirement of GHc400 million.
Some industry watchers however have taken issue with the soft treatment being given the GAT members noting its only now GAT is preparing to issue two tranches of five year bonds to raise the money with which it intends to provide the requisite equity capital for the five banks to meet the central bank’s GHc400 million minimum capital requirement; with no guarantee the two bond issues will be successful.
Others contend the BoG is right with its move because government has provided assurances that it would directly provide the requisite new funds if the impending bond issuance fails. Of the lot however Prudential Bank and Universal Merchant Bank are both privately owned making many to wonder if government is willing to commit funds to such cause.
Other observers submit the ideal way to save the five local banks managed by Eric Nana Otoo is a direct bailout from government, as other developed countries did when their banks were in distress.
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