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06.03.2012 Business & Finance

SHC Not For Sale

By Maxwell Adombila Akalaare - Daily Graphic
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The government has backed down on its decision to sell the State Housing Company (SHC) and has rather expressed its commitment to invest in the company to make it more viable to play its role as a housing and real estate provider for the nation.

As a result, the Managing Director of the company, Dr Mark Nii Ankrah, said SHC’s name had been delisted from the list of companies put up for divestiture by the Divestiture Implementation Committee (DIC). The DIC is the institution charged with the responsibility of facilitating the sale of state-owned companies.

Checks by the Daily Graphic at the DIC, however, showed that the SHC was never part of the list of companies put up for divestiture by the government.

The government’s unwillingness to proceed with the divestiture, according to state housing’s MD, followed the company’s impressive recovery from its initial poor performances in providing houses for the masses and generating enough revenue to fund its own operations.

The decision has thus freed the hands of the company to go to the market to source funds from interested investors to support its core business of housing the populace.

Consequently, an investment seminar was organised by the company in Accra with the aim of creating awareness among financial institutions in and outside the country of the need to invest in SHC.

Dr Mark Ankrah told the Daily Graphic that the government had reaffirmed its commitment to support the company in its operations.

“State housing is not for sale again. This is not a company the government will be ready to offload its shares from, given that the

company is getting back on its feet financially,” Dr Ankrah said.

He said the SHC’s board and management had been able to prove that “state housing is a viable company” and that caused the government to declare its intentions not to offload again.

“The position on divestiture was not a decision; it was a quest and current developments in state housing negate that stand,” the state housing MD added.

According to him, the company’s habit of recording losses every year has been broken, thanks to sound finance and revenue generating mechanisms instituted by the company’s current management.

Although Dr Ankrah was hesitant in providing figures to support the assertion, he said, “our financial results for 2010 and 2011 show that the company made some profits.”

Dr Ankrah added, “we want to tell financial institutions nation-wide that they have an opportunity to invest in SHC or leave that investment cake for our foreign brothers to take.”

“Local investors and the financial institutions in particularly will be making a mistake if they do not join to invest in state housing,” he said, explaining that the company’s numerous assets across the country and management’s commitment to make progress have made it a viable investment vehicle in the housing and real estate sector.

He disclosed that over 50 investors had so far expressed interest to invest in the company, 80 per cent of which are foreigners.

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