ADB shareholders vote to limit government’s hold on the bank

ADB shareholders vote to limit government’s hold on the bank
Source: Ghana | | Joy Business
Date: 26-06-2017 Time: 03:06:37:pm
The Shareholders also voted to allow the government to nominate three persons onto the bank board

Shareholders of Agriculture Development Bank (ADB) have made drastic changes to the company’s regulations; key among them is limiting government “hold” on the bank.

They also voted to allow the new board for the bank to nominate and appoint the Managing Director and Chairman of the Board of Directors.

These changes to the company's act were made at an Extra-Ordinary General Meeting at the National Theatre in Accra on Monday. The meeting was called by an investment firm, Belstar Capital which currently has about 34.3 percent stake in the ADB after it went public.

Speaking to JOY BUSINESS after an Extra-Ordinary General Meeting EGM, Deputy Managing Director of Belstar Capital, Patrick Kingsley-Nyinah said they had to call the meeting to make some changes to the company’s act.

This he said is because of the way operations at the bank were stalling because there was not a board in place.

He also tells JOY BUSINESS that it is critical for these amendments to be made to reflect the change in ownership at ADB, after its initial public offering (IPO). 

Mr. Nyinah added that there were a lot of proposals on the table, but had to settle on this for now, “these amendments were just to deal with corporate governance issues at the bank and it’s only important that those who put their money in the bank have their say”.

The Shareholders also approved the Section 74a of the company’s act, which allows the government to nominate three persons onto the bank board out the nine persons that should be on the board.

It amended the regulations to allow every shareholder that has 10 percent to make nomination onto the board.

Government of Ghana now has 32.3 percent stake in Bank, Belstar Capital -34.3 percent, Starmount Development Company - 11 percent, EDC- 6 percent, while Bank of Ghana now has 9.5 percent.

Issues surrounding the EGM

There were rumours that the meeting was aimed to amend the company’s regulation to make it easier to remove the current MD of the Bank, but Mr. Nyinah ruled that out, insisting that  would be the decision of the board when it meets, insisting that this EGM was needed to put  the right things in place.

Former Director General of Securities and Exchange Commission, Adu Anane Antwi, however, tells JOYBUSINESS, what has happened today should be seen as a victory for corporate governance.

However, for those who were are the National Theatre, the scene could be described as interesting, as persons who were providing security, for the EGM had some vest on, that can be described as “Bullet Proof”, while JOYBUSINESS, saw one of the security men with a pistol.   

How did ADB get here?

ADB listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange in December 2016, after it raised about GHc325.7 million in its Initial Public Offer.

This comes after adb earlier this year failed to complete its earlier IPO process because the bank could not raise the minimum amount of GHC400 million as the bank’s board rejected all offers made at the price of GHC2 per share, instead of GHC2.65 contained in the prospectus.

The offer which was re-launched yesterday Thursday, November 24, 2016, according to a press statement from the bank is expected to raise 380 million cedis.

The offer which is currently on going will close on December 5, 2015, at 12 pm. According to the press statement the public share offer of ADB (the “Offer”) consists of “a sale of 69,326,036 existing ordinary shares of no par value at GHS 2.65 per share and an offer for subscription of 75,471,698 new ordinary shares of no par value at GHS 2.65 per share issued and fully paid.”

The statement further stated that there is going to be “a listing by the introduction of 86,125,488 existing ordinary shares on the Ghana Stock Exchange”.