High interest rates killing businesses

Simon Dornoo, MD, GCB is the President of the Association of BanksSimon Dornoo, MD, GCB is the President of the Association of BanksThe Managing Director of Kuapa Kokoo Limited (KKL), Mr Emmanuel Arthur, has expressed concern about the high interest rates on loans that businesses in the country source from financial institutions.

Lamenting the situation, Mr Arthur said servicing the high  interest rates of loans was greatly affecting their  profit margins, making it difficult for them to  expand and grow their businesses.

Addressing the Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union (KKFU) during an annual general meeting held in Kumasi, Mr Authur said last year, for example, the company’s gross profit of GH¢6,747,058 was greatly reduced to GH¢388,265, and explained that as much as GH¢6,358,793.00 was used to service loans.

Mr Arthur said, “We cannot support our purchasing clerks to buy tarpaulins and scales to enhance our operations because we have used almost all our profits to service loans sourced from our banks”.

Mr Arthur said the company had decided to buy 1,500 tarpaulins and the same number of scales for 1,400 societies across the country, but with the reduced profits, the company could purchase only 500  tarpaulins and scales.

Earlier, the Managing Director of Devine Chocolate, Ms Sophi Tranchell, had announced that the company  won two taste awards in the United Kingdom.

Explaining, she said the company won the awards with its  Divine Ginger Thins Orange flavour and the  Divine Dark Chocolate  Ginger flavour  during an awards  ceremony organised in the United Kingdom on Thursday,  August  8, 2013.

According to Ms Tranchell,  in  October 1998, KKFU, in collaboration with  Kuapa Kokoo Company,  a private cocoa purchasing company  in Ghana, and together with their Western partners,  Twin Trading and Body Shop, established Devine Chocolate with the view of marketing its own brand of chocolate in the Western world.

For his part, the President of KKFU, Ms Ali Fatima, said the company’s increased membership was not commensurate with  products purchased each year.

She said it was therefore important for members to renew their loyalty by selling all their produce to maximise the company’s profit.

By George Ernest Asare / The Mirror / Ghana

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