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03.06.2007 General News

Don’t sell off strategic national assets

By myjoyonline

A board member of the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB), Mr Franklin Kwabena Asamoah, has cautioned the government against the divestiture of strategic national assets.

He said, "Ghanaians should be proud to see some of the legacies bequeathed to us by our forebears, that was why about eight-and-half years ago, the board of the bank resisted attempts by the NDC government to divest the bank".

"Today, GCB is doing very well by contributing to economic development, the records are there for all to verify", he said.

Speaking at the Ashanti Regional launch of the rights issue of the bank in Kumasi on Tuesday, Mr Asamoah said such strategic national assets had positive impacts on the nation which must be protected at all cost.

Through the rights issue, the GCB has targeted to raise ¢450 billion by issuing 75 billion new ordinary shares at ¢6,000 each.

The offer which was opened on May 15, this year and expected to close on June 15, 2007 is opened to existing shareholders and prospective ones.

Mr Asamoah said the bank was ready to deliver quality service to its customers and therefore called on the public to purchase shares in the bank in order to enjoy the opportunity offered.

The Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr E.A. Owusu-Ansah, who launched the exercise, observed that the rights offer has opened a new chapter in the history of GCB.

He expressed the hope that the investment of proceeds from the exercise would add up to government's objectives for the bank and the Ghanaian banking sector as a whole.

Mr Owusu-Ansah also expected the rights offer to equip the bank with a strong capital base, comparable to its peers in the West African sub region.

He commended the past and present board members for working tirelessly to move the bank forward.

The Deputy Managing Director of the GCB, Mr Roko Frimpong, said the bank had increased its assets to a rate of over 68 percent over the past five years, while profits had grown up by over 30 percent over the same period.

He said the bank was introducing Information Communication Technology (ICT) products to meet the demands of the time.

Culled from Daily Graphic