11.05.2005 Business & Finance

Commercial banks charged to advance credit to SMEs

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Accra, May 11, GNA - Commercial Banks have been charged to critically examine the needs of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to transform them into fully blown companies qualified to list on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE).

According to Mr Kingsley Yamoah, Managing Director of the GSE, when SMEs were able to access adequate credit at lower interest rates, they would succeed and turn their fortunes round.

"This situation will lead to a boost in employment and increased national development," he said.

Speaking at the "GSE's Facts Behind The Figures" series for listed companies on the Exchange, which featured SG-SSB, one of the bourses' top 10 performers, Mr Yamoah urged listed and non-listed banks to nurture SMEs to create a potent field of buoyant, viable and competitive companies able to play an active role in the nation's development agenda.

Mr Yamoah was responding to calls for banks to lead the way in creating a credible financial intermediation regime for SMEs and other customers.

Presenting the broad out-turn of SG-SSB, Mr Pierre Andre Taulet the Managing Director, said the Bank was focused on improving its credit portfolio in favour of SMEs.

In this connection, the Bank had engaged 70 new staff solely dedicated to servicing and meeting the concerns of the SMEs. Besides the Bank had executed two credit facility agreements worth over 10.7 million Euros all aimed at facilitating the financing of SMEs.

Mr Taulet said the Bank was repositioning itself in the market through the re-launch of SME and Entrepreneurs credit scheme to expand. He asked customers to rely on the Bank's continuous improvement to deliver quality services to clients.

As at the end of March, the Bank made a Gross Profit of 36.9 billion cedis, a decline from 38.5 billion cedis for the corresponding period of last year.

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