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09.08.2005 Business & Finance

GT to Raise $50m Equity To Fulfill Telenor's Business Plan

The way in now open for Ghana Telecom (GT) to raise a $50 million equity capital needed to finance the business plan of the Telenor.
This has been made possible through the amicable settlement of the Government of Ghana and Telecom Malaysia (TM) impasse over TM's 30% stake in GT, the Chief Executive Officer of GT, Mr. Oystein Bjorge has said.
The CEO told The Business Chronicle in an interview last Friday that, all attempts to raise equity for the company had proved futile as the 30% shareholders, TM did not approve of the move because of their impasse with the government.
He said that all the projects to expand GT's network and other infrastructure had been financed by the loans, which they had to repay with high interest.
"We would be in a much better position to meet our obligations." Telenor, among other things, is to link all second cycle institutions to the internet.
Talking on the profit of the company, he said GT has the potential of making huge profits this year as more innovations are being introduced, citing the increased network capacity of the network. The profit of the company grew from ¢115.6 billion to ¢176.957 billion this year.
Revenue also increased from ¢1.3 trillion to ¢2.1 trillion, representing a substantial increase. According to the CEO, the performance of the company was attributed to measures introduced by the company to block some leakages in their operations and the increase in the collection of debts owed the company by customers.
He told The Business Chronicle, GT would start migrating customers from the bill concept to the prepaid concept soon and also make sure customers who default in payments are disconnected.
To improve its monitoring, the CEO mentioned the Intelligence Platform to make people comply by paying their bills as well as to streamline bill distribution to customers in the country.
He was happy to announce that reconnection fees had been scrapped.
The company has currently contacted Data Dank to raise an amount of ¢500 million from institutional investors through the placing of bonds on the Stock Exchange and later list on it.
The minister of communication had said that since Telenor took over the operations of GT, "they have been able to transform, modernize and improve upon their operations by making sure that faults are addressed within the shortest possible time." He said the strides GT made were justification of government's decision to go into a management contract with Telenor, the Norwegian Telecom company.