Sunday, 20 September 2020

Ofori-Atta’s scheming to favor foreign investors, family and friends alarming – finance expert




 

  

Adnan Adams Mohammed

A former Standard Chartered Bank top official is calling on the Finance Minister to ensure that this time around, all Ghanaians are given the opportunity to invest in, and benefit from the Agyapa gold royalties deal, which is fundamentally Ghanaians asset.

 

To this, the finance and corporate governance expert is advising Ken Ofori-Atta and the Minerals Infrastructure and Investment Fund (MIIF) managers to reconsider the decision on the 51:49 ration of how the Agyapa Royalties Company plans to list the Initial Public Offer (IPO) on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) and the London Stock Exchange (LSE) respectively.   

 

Rhetorically, the expert quizzed, If this so-called novella truly is for the benefit of the people of Ghana, why not float the majority of the shares of this “wonderful company” Agyapa on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE)? This would surely allow Ghanaians to purchase and own at least 75% of what is being offered to Investors. The remaining 25% that would be floated on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) could be offered exclusively to Ghanaians living in the diaspora in order to be inclusive.

 

“This is definitely a more patriotic option than selling the 49% to foreign investors, which people are speculating could be limited to a very few select investors, and perhaps mainly to Friends & Family, directly or indirectly”, Alex Mould intimated in a letter he wrote and addressed to the finance minister last week on the controversial Agyapa deal, adding that, “a notion that is not farfetched, based on your track record from the 2017 bond issuance saga which favoured your friend and partner Franklin Templeton and which excluded Ghanaians in the diaspora from investing.”

Below is the full letter:

A Letter to the Finance Minister

 

AGYAPA - OFORI-ATTA FLOUNDERS IN MURKY STREAMS OF GOLD

 

Dear Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta (KOA), would you be as kind as to explain a few things to us on this Agyapa deal? 

 

To paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld - there are some known knowns, many known unknowns and even unknown unknowns!

 

So let’s start with the known knowns, what we know - Agyapa’s source of funds will be our royalty revenue; which has been used in past years for budget support and was part of the governments consolidated fund. 

 

This revenue will now be used by Agyapa to invest in other gold companies and in companies that lend monies to gold companies worldwide; i.e. Gold Royalties or Gold Streaming - the business of lending money to gold mines and being repaid over the life of the loan in gold.

 

So the People of Ghana’s fundamental question is: WHY take a risk-free and secure flow of funds (our royalties) and use that to invest in risky, speculative ventures?

 

This then leads us to the known unknowns.  It is our understanding that you want to participate in the stock market by investing in speculative ventures like over-priced gold Funds.

 

Yet, said gold Funds invest in gold companies and in debt instruments of gold mining companies, whose shareholding and risk management you have zero knowledge of.

 

KOA, I am certain that the people of Ghana do not know this is what you intend doing. Hence, it is important that you elucidate to us Ghanaians, exactly what you want to do and the related risks; you owe this much to the people of Ghana - it is your fiduciary duty!

 

Lastly KOA, the apocryphal explanations you have provided thus far have done nothing to

ease our minds. If this so-called novella truly is for the benefit of the people of Ghana, why not float the majority of the shares of this “wonderful company” Agyapa on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE)?

 

This would surely allow Ghanaians to purchase and own at least 75% of what is being offered to Investors. 

 

The remaining 25% that would be floated on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) could be offered exclusively to Ghanaians living in the diaspora in order to be inclusive.

 

This is definitely a more patriotic option than selling the 49% to foreign investors, which people are speculating could be limited to a very few select investors, and perhaps mainly to Friends & Family, directly or indirectly - a notion that is not farfetched, based on your track record from the 2017 bond issuance saga which favoured your friend and partner Franklin Templeton and which excluded Ghanaians in the diaspora from investing.

 

All Ghanaians must be given the opportunity to invest in, and benefit from, what is fundamentally OUR Ghanaian assets.

 

And finally, the unknown is on the valuation of Agyapa and this requires a whole new set of other questions; some even unknown!!!

 

Stay tuned Mr. Minister

 

#StillOnTheAgyapaMatter

#OurQuestionsNeedAnswers

#GhanaiansFirst

 

Signed

Alex Mould

(Former Executive Director of Standard Chartered Bank Ghana and Immediate past CEO of GNPC)

16/09/2020

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