The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has served notice that it will not sell its 26.14 per cent stake in HFC Bank to The Republic Bank of Trinidad and Tobago.
This is in spite of what some investment analysts claim to be a juicy offer made by The Republic Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (RBTT) to shareholders of HFC to enable the Trinidad and Tobago lender raise its stake.
RBTT is offering shareholders of the listed bank GH¢1.60 in exchange for a share. That price is about 18 per cent more than HFC’s current share price, which was GH¢1.33 per when it closed trading on March 20, the time the offer price was determined.
SSNIT said it remained unfazed by the offer. Its Head of Public Affairs, Ms Eva Amegashie, who disclosed the position of SSNIT to the GRAPHIC BUSINESS in an interview in Accra said: “We are not giving up our stake in HFC; At least we have not taken any decision in the matter so we are there.”
She said SSNIT’s investment in the bank was yielding the necessary returns for the Trust. As a result, she siad it will want the stake in that bank to remain.
Republic Bank offer
Republic Bank, which has been increasingly aggressive in its quest to annex controlling powers in HFC Bank, is now making a mandatory offer to shareholders of HFC Bank to sell their shares to it.
The Trinidad and Tobago bank has more than 40 per cent shares in HFC Bank.
The offer is due to close on May 7, the bank said in a statement issued in Accra.
According to Ghana securities laws, shareholders of listed companies who cross 30 per cent stake holding should make a mandatory offer to all shareholders of the institution to absorb the rest of their shares and up their stakes in the entity.
Riddles in the past
The Trinidad and Tobago-based bank has been going through some riddles in its bid to acquire HFC Bank.
Its earlier attempts to take controlling stake in HFC Bank led to some breaches of the takeover rules which forced the industry regulator to slap GHc1million fine.
Sometime last year, Republic Bank Limited acquired an additional 7.98 per cent shareholding in HFC Bank Ghana, moving its shareholdings to 40 per cent.
The transaction, which involved the purchase of 23,638,340 ordinary shares at a price of GH¢ 0.67 (USD 0.31) per share, has strengthened the bank’s position as the single largest shareholder in HFC Bank.
Republic Bank earlier held a 32.02 per cent shareholding in the Ghanaian bank.
The share purchase was made on September 26, 2013 on the Ghana Stock Exchange and represented shares previously held by Union Bank of Nigeria.
Republic Bank first purchased 8.79 per cent shares in HFC Bank Ghana for an amount of US$8 million in December 2012, following its introduction into the African Region by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the commercial arm of the World Bank.
According to the provisional financial report of the Trust for 2014, more than 98 per cent of its investment is yielding positive results.
The total investment portfolio of SSNIT increased from GhC5.2 billion in 2013 to GhC6.6 billion at the close of 2014.
This represents a positive variance of 27.9 per cent. The amount for the year under review is made of GhC2.35 billion in equities; GhC3.61 billion in fixed income and GhC640.51 million in alternative investments.
The real return on investments of the Trust for 2013 was 16.90 per cent, which indicates that SSNIT has consistently exceeded actuarial valuation targets.
Source: Graphic Online