29.03.2005 Business & Finance

GCB to float un-issued shares in May

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Accra, March 29, GNA - Shareholders of the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) Limited on Tuesday approved a resolution for the Bank to float un-issued shares of about 165 million to raise GCB's stated capital by May this year.

The move was also to strengthen the capital base in compliance with the Bank of Ghana's new requirement to sustain business growth.

Chairing the GCB's 11th Annual General Meeting, Mr Kwabena Gyimah Osei-Bonsu, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bank, said over the past two years, the Bank had recognised the need to raise additional capital to finance its capacity expansion programme and enhance utilisation of automation processes.

He said it was expected that the floatation would dilute the existing government shares and reduce its controlling stake in the Bank. Mr Osei-Bonsu said the floatation would give priority to existing shareholders of the Company and employees of companies that would be allowed to purchase under extended payment period not exceeding six months.

Mr Roko Frimpong, Deputy Managing Director, Operations told the Ghana News Agency that with a current share of 34 per cent, Government remained the largest shareholder, but this needed to be broken to reduce its control over the Bank.

He said negotiations were ongoing with the Government to bring its stake in the Company to as low as 10 per cent adding: "What is important and of concern to Ghanaians is who buys the shares.

"Of course it has been agreed that in of-loading Government shares or any share in GCB, Ghanaians should be the sole investors," Mr Frimpong said.

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