In a twist of fate and events it seems Unibank would take over Agric Development Bank (ADB). The turn of events is interesting, but the common factor in all this, Belstar Capital, does not make it so much of a surprise. In earlier information in 2017, Belstar with other consortium members namely, EDC Investment Ltd, SIC FSL and Starmount Dev Ltd, has come up collectively as a major shareholder of ADB and quite strongly related to the Duffour Empire. The success of the initially proposed NIB/ADB merger would have depended on Belstar Capital getting out and giving its blessing for the merger to happen. News in circulation before the end of 2017 revealed Unibank may capitalize with the help of Belstar. However, a front page publication in B&FT on Wednesday, 7th March 2018, breaking the takeover news was not the expected twist.
According to the Dr. Kwabena Duffuor II the Chief Executive Officer of Unibank speaking on a local radio station, a Belstar Capital led Consortium pledging the majority shares it has in ADB to Unibank, gives them a 51% controlling stake over ABD. Details would continue to emerge with regards to this merger, however in a cursory consideration of the development, setting aside all capital requirement and technical merger issues, it seems a more welcoming news that a private entity is taking over a government entity. Plus we are getting a larger local bank, the industry is a notch up in stability with two entities knowing their fate in all this recapitalization and industry sanitizing brouhaha. One reservation however is that, in an era where the government is seeking to push the financing of agric agenda, ADB may continue in its lost trajectory of pursuing the lower costing and lower risk retail banking, as they have to yield good returns to its investors which financing of agric may not yield. www.ghanatalksbusiness.com would continue to follow up on the developments and bring more details.
Update: Ghana Stock Exchange Suspends Trading In ADB Shares
“This is to allow the GSE clarify news on a purported take-over of ADB. The investing public will be duly informed of the outcome and resumption of trading in the shares of ADB,”- GSE.
However, the statement said Managing Director of the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE), in consultation with the Chairman of the GSE Council has put the trading of shares of the state bank on hold with reference to Section 7 of the GSE Automated Trading Rules (ATS).