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ADB ‘strongly’ denies Unibank takeover

The Agricultural Development Bank Limited (ABD) has rejected claims by Ghanaian-owned Unibank that it has acquired a majority stake in ADB.

Unibank had confirmed in an interview on 3FM Wednesday morning that it has bought over 51% shares of ADB for about 600 million cedis.

This, the Executive Director of UniBank, Clifford Duke Mettle said, became possible after a consortium of financial institutions that control the majority shares in ADB pledged their proceeds, entitlement and voting rights to UniBank.

But the claim has been denied by the Bank of Ghana, which is the regulator. READ MORE

Later in the evening, the board chairman of ADB also issued a statement “strongly” denying Unibank’s position.

“It is the opinion of ADB that, a pledge does not have the effect of the transfer of ownership. Thus if the shareholders mentioned herein have pledged their shares together with any benefits or privileges attached thereto that will not have the effect of making Unibank a shareholder of the Agricultural Development Bank Limited or constitute a takeover of the Bank”.

Below is ADB’s full statement

We refer to the news item on both electronic and print media regarding a purported takeover of the Agricultural Development Bank Limited by Unibank and wish to strongly deny any takeover of the bank.

The Bank has received letters from Belstar Capital Limited, EDC Limited and Starmount Investment Limited having pledged their various shares in the Agricultural Development Bank Limited to Unibank. It is the opinion of ADB that, a pledge does not have the effect of the transfer of ownership. Thus if the shareholders mentioned herein have pledged their shares together with any benefits or privileges attached thereto that will not have the effect of making Unibank a shareholder of the Agricultural Development Bank Limited or constitute a takeover of the Bank. Indeed, in accordance with the Banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions Act 2016 (Act 930), “… a person shall not without the prior approval in writing of Bank of Ghana enter into an agreement or arrangement which will result in the change in control of a bank, specialised deposit-taking institutions or financial holding company”. The Act continues that, for the purpose of share acquisition in financial institutions, the Bank of Ghana must grant approval of share acquisitions of five, ten, thirty, fifty or seventy-five percent of equity thresholds.

In a statement made by the Governor of Bank of Ghana during the commissioning of the Ecobank Head office in Accra, on 7th March, 2018; he emphatically denounced as null and void the purported takeover of ADB.

ADB is also in discussion with the Ghana Stock Exchange to restore trading on the Exchange.

We therefore wish to assure the Bank’s numerous customers and the general public that the shareholding of the Bank remains unchanged and customers accounts and investments are adequately protected. Customers are particularly advised to go about their normal transactions with the Bank.

The Board Chairman – ADB

Source: 3news.com | Ghana

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