Top 20 business stories in 2017

Business News of Sunday, 31 December 2017

Source: citifmonline.com

2017-12-31

Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia (L) and Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta (R)

The year 2017 witnessed some interesting events and happenings. Below are some captivating business stories in 2017, as compiled by citifmonline.com.

GCB takes over UT and Capital banks

The Bank of Ghana in 2017 revoked the licenses of two indigenous banks, UT Bank and Capital Bank.

The collapse of the two indigenous banks; left in their wake discussions within the industry as to what possible conditions may have triggered the situation.

The Bank of Ghana among others cited the provisions of the Banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions (SDIs) Act, 2016 as basis for allowing GCB Bank to assume the assets and liabilities of the two local banks.

Ghana wins maritime dispute case against Ivory Coast

In 2017, the Special Chamber of the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), ruled in favor of Ghana in the three-year-long maritime dispute between the country and Côte d’Ivoire.

The Chamber in a unanimous decision on Saturday September 23, 2017, ruled that there has not been any violation on the part of Ghana on Côte d’Ivoire’s maritime boundary.

The Chamber rejected Côte d’Ivoire’s argument that Ghana’s coastal lines were unstable.

It also noted that Ghana has not violated Côte d’Ivoire’s sovereign rights with its oil exploration in the disputed basin in question.

Sibtcon Switch awarded GHC 4.6bn to establish mobile interoperability platform

Sibton Switch Systems defended a 4. 6 billion cedis contractt for the establishment of an interoperable platform for mobile money transactions in Ghana.

According to the company, the quality and extent of services provided for by the platform, guaranteed its selection by the Bank of Ghana.

“It’s a long term infrastructure; it’s a retail payment system that does not just cover one party which will be interoperability for Mobile Network Operators (MNOs). It cuts across the entire retail payment systems; it comes with MNOs, banks, aggregators, merchants among others,” of Sibton Switch systems, Keiko Wantanabe explained on the Citi Breakfast Show.

But the contract was later revoked by the central bank.

Committee set up to probe BOST contaminated fuel sale

The Energy Ministry set up an eight-member investigative committee to look into the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST) company’s controversial sale of 5 million litres of contaminated fuel.

The committee was mandated to determine the circumstances that led to the contamination of the fuel and review the transaction, among others.

The committee also reviewed the procedures undertaken by BOST to evacuate the product and ascertain the quality and remaining quantity of the product.

Government fails to raise 6 billion cedis for energy bond

Government failed to raise the 6 billion cedis for the energy bond it issued in 2017.

Government was able to raise 3.4 billion cedis as at Friday, October 27, 2017.

As a result, the managers of the bond announced an extension of the auction for the 10 year bond by one more week.

Tigo, Airtel entity now Airtel Tigo

The second largest telecom operator in Ghana rebranded as Airtel Tigo, following a merger between Tigo and Airtel.

Airtel Tigo now controls 22 percent market share of the telecom industry in Ghana after the National Communications Authority recently approved the merger.

The CEO of Airtel Tigo, Madam Roshi Motman speaking to the workers after announcing the new brand name also announced the new executive members of the company.

IMF, Ghana programme extended by a year

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) extended Ghana’s programme with the Fund.

The extension will see Ghana end the program in April 2019 instead of April 2018.

President Akufo-Addo during his maiden encounter with senior journalists at the Flagstaff House recently stated that government will not extend the programme after it ends on December 2018.

BoG Governor Dr. Issahaku resigns

In 2017, Central Bank Governor, Dr Abdul Nashiru Issahaku resigned.

His resignation took effect from the 1st of April, 2017.

At the time, it was unclear what led to his resignation but the Governor was reported to have cited personal reasons for the move.

Dr. Ernest Addison is new BoG Governor

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo appointed Dr. Ernest Kwamina Yedu Addison as new Governor of the Bank of Ghana.

A statement signed by the Director of Communications at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin said Dr. Addison’s appointment follows the resignation of Dr. Abdul Nashiru Issahaku effective Saturday, 1st April, 2017.

“In order not to have a vacuum at the top of such an important state institution, the President, in accordance with Article 183 (4) (a) of the constitution, has appointed Dr. Ernest Kwamina Yedu Addison as Governor of the Bank of Ghana, subject to consultation with the Council of State,” the statement said.

Goldfields to lay off 1,500 workers

Mining firm Goldfields Ghana sacked about 1,500 of its workers.

The retrenchment affected majority of its miners at the Tarkwa mine.

Goldfields told Citi Business News it had to undertake the layoffs due to the current life of the mine which stands at between five and six years, and cannot purchase a new fleet because of the short payback period.

Starbow halts operations after crash at Kotoka

Starbow Airlines halted operations, following a crash involving one of its aircrafts at the Kotoka International Airport.

The crash, which resulted in five minor injuries, occurred after the aircraft skidded off the runway during its take-off run.

A statement from Starbow said it had “suspended its operations with immediate effect.”

Asamoah Gyan gets license to start airline business

Black Stars Captain, Asamoah Gyan was given a license to operate an airline company.

The company, Citi Business News gathered will be named Baby Jet Airlines.

It is unclear whether the airline will be operating as a domestic airline; within only Ghana or it will be operating as a regional or international company.

MenzGold not licensed to do banking business

The Second Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Johnson Asiamah disclosed that investment group, MenzGold is not licensed to conduct banking business.

He says though the Company was licensed by the Minerals Commission to buy and sell gold, it had veered off into accepting deposits from unsuspecting customers.

This was financial sector challenge, following DKM and God is Love Fun Club among others.

BoG increases capital requirement of banks to GHC 400m

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) announced a new capital requirement of 400 million cedis for banks in the country, an official at the central bank confirmed to Citi Business News.

This represented an increase of 233.3 percent from the previous 120 million cedis.

By this, banks in the country were required to set aside 400 million cedis in capital to be supervised by the central bank.

Stock Exchange suspends trading for five companies

The Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) suspended the trading activities of five listed companies on the Exchange.

The managers of the domestic bourse said the decision is due to the failure of the said companies to meet their continuing listing obligations despite several promptings to do so.

The five companies were African Champion Industry Limited (ACI), Clydestone (Ghana) Limited as well as Golden Web Limited.The remaining are the Pioneer Kitchenware Limited and Transaction Solutions Limited (TRANSOL).

Stock Exchange suspends trading for five companies

The Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) suspended the trading activities of five listed companies on the Exchange.

The managers of the domestic bourse said the decision is due to the failure of the said companies to meet their continuing listing obligations despite several promptings to do so.

The five companies were African Champion Industry Limited (ACI), Clydestone (Ghana) Limited as well as Golden Web Limited.The remaining are the Pioneer Kitchenware Limited and Transaction Solutions Limited (TRANSOL).

GCB Shareholders reject GHC 4m remuneration for board

Angry shareholders of GCB rejected a decision of a new Board of Directors to increase their remuneration from GHC 2.5 million annually to GHC 4 million annually, representing 64 percent surge.

Some of the shareholders who were not enthused about the proposed increase voted overwhelmingly against the motion at an Annual General Meeting(AGM) held in Accra.

Making suggestions on the floor, some demanded for reasons in the increase since the old board which was dissolved this year last increased their remuneration in 2013.

British banks to freeze accounts of illegal Ghanaians

Ghanaians and other nationalities living in the UK illegally, will from January, 2018 see their bank accounts frozen following a new directive by the UK Government to weed out illegal immigrants.

The move follows the UK Government’s decision to force banks and building societies to freeze the accounts of failed asylum seekers, foreign national offenders and visa over stayers.

The measures are part of Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans to create a “hostile environment” for illegal immigrants in Britain, and the accounts of those identified will be closed down or frozen.

#Ghbudget: Gov’t budgets GHC 62bn for 2018

Government expects to spend an estimated 62 billion cedis in the 2018 financial year, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has revealed.

This is equivalent to 25.7 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and represents an annual growth of 14.5 percent.

The Finance Minister made the announcement today, Wednesday, November 15, 2017, in parliament during the national budget presentation.

GRA shuts down GLO

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) shut down telecom operator, GLO over unpaid taxes in 2017.

The telecom operator’s offices at the Industrial area and Spintex Road were shut down by a GRA task force.

According to the authority, GLO failed to pay 11, 884,396.89 million Ghana cedis in taxes.

Accra Mall escapes closure over taxes

But for the quick intervention of operators of the Accra Mall, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) would have shut down the mall over its failure to pay taxes.

The Ghana Revenue Authority embarked on a distress order to retrieve about 2 million cedis in tax arrears from the management of the Accra Mall in the morning.

The move was triggered after the company failed to pay the said taxes despite an expiration of the deadline about two months ago.

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