Government is considering the option of issuing a Diaspora bond, to raise funds from Ghanaians living abroad,— Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has disclosed.
According to him, initial assessment points out that government can access the fund at good rate looking at the rising enthusiasm among Ghanaians to invest back home following the sound economic policies embarked upon by the Nana Addo government.
Speaking at a short ceremony after GCB bank made a dividend payment of 21.5 million cedis to government, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta urged the bank consider the bond as a homecoming summit slated for July draws closer.
“We are thinking of a diaspora bond which we should be restructuring soon. If it is going to be retailed, then it will require an ability for people out there to be able to get to you (GCB bank) to participate in that, so we will like to have some discussions on that with you,” he said.
Mr. Ofori-Atta charged GCB bank to position itself to advantage of the bond.
“There is a homecoming summit that will take place soon in July. We want to use that to announce the bond. I think you can also take advantage of it and let us see how it will it go,” he said.
He pointed out that there are strong signals among Ghanaians abroad, willing to invest back in the country due to economic policies of the Nana Addo government.
Touching on other issues in the banking sector, Mr. Ofori-Atta bemoaned the increasing number of small indeginous banks in the country, calling for mergers.
He hinted that government will use the new capital requirement yet to be announced by the central bank to push for what he describes as “Sensible Mergers”.
Currently, there are 34 banks in the country, a number many financial observers have described as to many for the size of Ghana’s economy.
Even more worrying, most indigenous banks are said to have low capital base, making it difficult for them to undertake high budget projects.
Corroborating this assertion, Mr. Ofori-Atta stated that government recently studied the results of an Asset Quality Review(AQR) of banks and the findings were not impressive.
By: Lawrence Segbefia/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana