Hold Onto HFC Bank Shares-MD

Ghanaian investors have been advised to hold on to their shares in HFC Bank in order not to cede their heritage to foreigner investors.

Dr Asare Akufo, Managing Director (MD) of HFC Bank Ghana, who spoke to journalists recently in Accra during the 25 th Anniversary celebration of the bank, said HFC Bank must not become a foreign bank even though there was a monetary take over (MTO) process in place.

Advising institutional shareholders not cede their Ghanaian pride and heritage, he emphasised: ‘It is for us as Ghanaians to decide whether HFC is an institution that we want to be part of going forward, or we want to hand it over to others. The choice is for us as Ghanaians and Ghanaian investors. The bank would go into foreign hands if they decide to sell; if they hold onto their shares despite this monetary take over (MTO) process, the bank will still remain Ghanaian-owned.’

According to Dr Akufo, institutional shareholders could take advantage of investment funds under the Three-Tier Pension Scheme so ownership of their shares would go from Ghanaian to Ghanaian.

‘It doesn’t have to go from Ghanaian to foreign. But it is a market transaction; the emphasis is on institutions like SSNIT that is owned by a pension fund whose decisions should be guided by national interest, I believe.’

He said that the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and SIC must hold onto their investments since the 2014 results showed that the performance of HFC bank was very good just like in 2013.

‘We have reached that stage where income (profits) is going to grow in an exponential manner and I believe that our investors should commit to the future of the bank because that is what other investors have seen, and they are really very anxious to have a piece of the HFC cake.’

HFC Bank is expected to circulate its offer document to shareholders within the next few days.

From small beginnings, HFC Bank, formerly Home Finance Company, became the most active issuer on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) after listing in March 1995.

Now at age 25, the MD stated: ‘We have shown since 1990 that Ghanaians are capable of building strong and vibrant institutions.’

RBTT recently paid GH¢1 million for breaches of the SEC Takeover Code in the purchase of additional 23,638,340 shares of HFC Bank from Union Bank.

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