The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, has lauded the role played by his finance firm, Databank Brokerage Limited, and four other indigenous financial institutions in raising $3.025 billon in Eurobond for the country. The institutions four other firms which led in raising the bond last month are Fidelity Bank Ghana Limited, Cal Bank PLC, IC Securities (Ghana) Limited and Temple Investments Limited.
His Databank Brokerage Limited, is a baby firm of the parent firm named Databank, which he had pioneered and founded in April 1990 with a mission to empower its customers to achieve financial independence by promoting financial literacy and offering a diverse range of investment products and to deliver on this mission, Databank offers corporate finance, brokerage, fund management and research services to local and foreign individuals, multinational companies, pension trusts and institutional investors for the ECOWAS sub-region.
According to their website, "through our brokerage wing, investors can tap into fixed-income investments (including treasury bills), trade shares listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange and enjoy corporate finance advisory services. Through our asset management wing, investors can access more mutual funds than any other investment bank in Ghana (Epack, MFund, BFund, ArkFund and EdIFund), institutional fund management for corporate, benefit and endowment funds, pension fund management and private wealth management services."
The firm which started in Ghana literally now is the mainstay financial institution in Ghana and has tripled its financial capital in the last 4years and currently, Databank has 19 locations across the country, with the main branches in Accra (Head Office), Ho, Koforidua, Kumasi, Takoradi, Tamale, Tema and Sunyani.
Even though Ken Ofori-Atta has absolved himself of any direct leadership roles in his firm, his wife, Prof Angela Lamensdorf Ofori-Atta and his longtime friend, partner and co-founder of Databank firm, Keli Gadzekpo, who serves on top Boards in Ghana, comfortably sits on the Board of Directors of the firm, steering it into increasing profitability and productivity.
At the event where he lauded these five (5) indigenous firms, which acted as co-managers of the transaction, which turned out to be the country's largest bond sale in history and featured a novel zero-coupon Eurobond, the first of its kind by an emerging market economy, Mr Ofori-Atta had said that, he was delighted with the role of the indigenous firms in the issuance processes, as their active involvement was a testament to the fact that the effort by the government to develop indigenous capacity in the banking and financial sectors was yielding the expected results.
Ofori-Atta said, the arrangement also ensured that almost 50 per cent of the novel zero-coupon bond was taken up by resident investors, a development that was positive for the economy, as this will directly help these investors domiciled in Ghana, to have access to the international capital market also. “For the first time in Africa, we have seen local managers drive significant local market participation in fund-raising in a global Eurobond. Close to 50 per cent of the zero-coupon bond was taken up by the local market through the efforts of the local co-managers, " he said.
The successful collaboration between the local co-managers and the joint lead managers in the 2021 bond sale is said to have resulted in oversubscription by investors and the government securing favourable interest rates for the four-tranche Eurobond, in spite of the impact of the COVID-19 and the energy and the financial sector debts on the 2020 fiscal deficit and Mr Ofori-Atta believes this is indicative that, there has been growth in the financial sector.
According to the minister, Ghana was currently the only country in sub-Saharan Africa to have "logistics for global issuances managed by local entities”. and this point is also indicative that, the local co-managers including his firm, has also increased exponentially and may well open them up, for service provision to other African countries, who may choose such more borrowing paths to their economic development.
He said while the local co-managers supported the joint lead managers in the various streams of work, including the investor presentation and the development of the liability management strategy and logistics for the virtual roadshow, "there is the desire for local institutions to take on other lead roles in a bid to localize a significant portion of the work for global and local fund raising efforts". he concluded.
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