Investors have been pleased with efforts by the central bank to sanitise the banking sector, since it will go a long way to protect people’s investments, CEO of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, Yofi Grant, has said.
Mr. Grant told the B&FT in Bali, Indonesia: “They are very pleased that the law has worked. What seems not to be the most savoury environment is being sanitised, such that the investor is very clear and knows what he’s getting when he invests his money,” he said.
Mr. Grant, who was speaking on the sidelines of the IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings said: “Those who have passed through the meetings and are looking to come into Ghana are very pleased about the whole reforms going on.
He added: “They are pleased because at least when you clean the banking sector the fundamentals will work, because you have a law-based system that is correct and works the way it should and not in a way to compromise the country’s entire banking and financial sector. The outlook and view from most investors are very positive”.
In all, seven banks were affected by the central bank’s move to rid the sector of very weak and poorly-managed banks. The move began last year with liquidation of the UT and Capital banks and their subsequent takeover by GCB Bank.
Barely a year later, another set of five banks – Sovereign Bank, Construction Bank, Beige Bank, Royal Bank and Unibank – were merged to form the state-owned Consolidated Bank.
According to Mr. Grant, as investors look to come into Ghana one of the first things they look out for is how robust the banking sector is and whether it can support their businesses.
The reforms being pursued by the banking regulator, he said, are sending a strong signal to investors about government’s commitment to getting things done right; as well as making sure Ghana becomes a top investor destination, not only in the sub-region but on the continent as a whole.
Last year, the country recorded foreign direct investments to the tune of US$4.91billion. Some US$3.75billion of the investments came through the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, while US$248.32million came through the Ghana Free Zones Authority.
Another US$549.59million was recorded through the Minerals Commission and US$493.86million through the Petroleum Commission.
According to Mr. Grant, the country is on course to improve on last year’s figures – in keeping with growing investor confidence.