The Managing Director of HFC Bank, Asare Akuffo, says he is disappointed with how the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have handled a move by Republic Bank of Trinidad and Tobago to acquire the bank.
Republic Bank, the majority shareholder of the HFC, with 40% shares, has taken strong steps to acquire the Ghanaian bank.
But according to Mr Akuffo, the SEC has not been fair in its refusal to grant a waiver to Republic Bank when the Trinidad and Tobago-based lender decided not to exercise a right to take over the Ghanaian bank.
The primary function of the SEC is to protect investors and maintain the integrity of the securities market.
Mr Akuffo believes the situation could have been handled better.
He explained that for Republic Bank to be allowed by SEC, the regulator, to make a mandatory offer to shareholders of a local bank when the bank (Republic Bank) itself wanted a waiver is saddening.
“We have a foreign bank that is coming in to invest in a local bank developed from scratch, and if that foreign bank comes in and says that ‘I don’t want to have majority control in this bank, so give me a waiver so that I don’t go out and buy out other shareholder’, why should it be difficult for a Ghanaian regulator to grant the waiver and rather ask that the foreign investor to go ahead with full speed?”, he asked.
Meanwhile Managing Director of Republic Bank , David Dulal Whiteway told Joy Business the bank will maintain the identity of HFC if they should take over.
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