The Private Enterprises Federation (PEF) has welcomed the Bank of Ghana’s decision to introduce its Ghana Reference Rate (GRR), the new module for calculating interest rates on loans, saying it is the right step.
Last week, the central bank announced the introduction of the Ghana Reference Rate which was set at 16.82% for April 2018, a little lower than the policy rate which is currently at 18percent and is expected to reduce the cost of borrowing.
Chief Executive Officer of PEF, Nana Osei- Bonsu, told the B&FT that competitive interest rates were critical to the growth of businesses and they provide impetus to job and wealth creation for the people.
Mr Osei- Bonsu pointed out that a vibrant private sector was vital to the building of a strong, robust and resilient economy.
A reference rate is an interest rate benchmark which is used to set other interest rates. The GRR, according to the Central Bank, was done in consultation with the Ghana Association of Bankers re-constituted Working Group which reviewed the existing Base Rate model and developed a new framework for base rate determination.
Nana Osei-Bonsu also discloses that the Private Enterprises Federation (PEF) was currently, through its capacity building training programmes, preparing to help to list some 10 Ghanaian businesses on the Ghana Stock Exchange.
With 2021 as the target year, PEF expects that the said companies would have stated capital of GH¢1 million in order to qualify to be listed and must also agree to change from a private company to a public one, limited by shares.
“What we are going to do is to work with the interested businesses, in making sure that they meet the requirement. And we will train them and build their capacity. Our objective is to make sure at least 10 of these companies from the agricultural, manufacturing and the service industries, are listed, the PEF boss said.
“The Federation secured US$1.5 million funding from the African Development Bank to undertake various projects, including setting up a web base platform to promote businesses and undertake research on businesses, while building their capacities to enable them expand.
The website has been developed at the cost of US$700,000 and we are now training businesses, building their capacity on corporate governance, how taxes affect businesses, how to market businesses and how to write business plans, among others,” he explained.
Training of business owners by PEF has been ongoing in various regions for months, with the last one held in Accra.