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21 May

 By Ernest K. Chanani

 Two members of the Standard Bank Group, Stanbic Bank Ghana and Stanbic Bank South Africa have successfully secured $300-Million (GH¢ 410 million) in medium-term funding facilities on behalf of its client, MTN Ghana.

The initiative of the two banks was geared towards supporting Telecom Giant MTN Ghana in its bid to create job opportunities in its operations in the Ghanaian economy.

In addition to the GH¢ 410 million, a large sum of US$60Million which received a positive take-up was raised by the syndication team comprising of 16 local banks and four international banks.

The amount which was raised in the local Ghanaian market is the largest local currency deal in Ghana’s history outside the annual COCOBOD syndications transactions usually in foreign currency.

However, Mr. Alhassan Andani, Stanbic Bank Ghana Managing Director has disclosed in Accra that MTN has been a business leader over the years and Stanbic Bank was delighted to be playing a lead role in mobilizing the funds.

He noted that Standard Bank of South Africa is the Facility and Security Agent, adding that Stanbic Bank Ghana had led the execution of a number of high profile transactions leading to the bank being voted as Best Investment Bank in 2011 by the prestigious EMEA Finance magazine.

He explained that this landmark transaction is a testament a collective drive to support the Ghanaian economy which will create jobs and give hope to the people of Ghana.

The Stanbic Bank Ghana MD noted that MTN Ghana appointed Stanbic Bank Ghana Limited and Standard Bank of South Africa as the Global Coordinator for the deal and they ran the entire syndication process to secure the funding.

Mr. Andani stressed that there was a positive take-up by financial institutions and as such the Ghanaian Cedi facilities and USD facility were oversubscribed by 35% and 92% respectively, an indication of the financial strength and quality that local and foreign banks see in MTN Ghana and its operations.

MTN Ghana he indicated wanted a bank with a proven international and African footprint to facilitate and participate in the transaction as there has not been a local currency syndication of this size before.

“Of course the Standard Bank through its African and international network was able to demonstrate its ability to secure funding from multiple sources in both local and foreign currency,” he emphasized.

The funds raised in the bond issue according to him, will be used by MTN to expand and improve its network in Ghana going forward.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MTN Ghana, Mr. Michael Ikpoki, reiterated it is a demonstration of how MTN saw its business in Ghana. “By looking within to raise this amount of money, we are indicating to the people of Ghana that we have absolute confidence in the economy and more importantly, the Ghana Cedi. This financing will help up us take our business to the next level where the consumer will be the ultimate winner,” He stated.

Mr. Kwamina Asomaning, Director of Stanbic Bank’s Corporate and Investment Banking unit said “as a leading emerging markets bank, specifically Ghana’s Best Investment Bank. Stanbic bank is serious about playing a transformative role in Ghana’s corporate sector in partnership with government, organizations such as MTN and other likeminded institutions across all sectors.”

He further stated that as a member of Africa’s largest Bank, Stanbic Bank Ghana was in the best position to harness resources across the group to deliver results that impact on the lives of Ghanaians.”

Adding, he stressed that the requirement by MTN Ghana was for a global bank with a strong African footprint and that Stanbic bank’s appointment was consequently an endorsement of Standard Bank’s strategy to have Africa at its core as the bank extend and deepen its business across the continent.

This is the first time a multinational company in Ghana has raised capital in Ghanaian Cedis on this scale.

Mandated lead arrangers for the syndication are: Stanbic Bank Ghana Limited, Ghana Commercial Bank Limited, Ecobank Ghana Limited and Ecobank Capital, Standard Chartered Bank Ghana Limited and Barclays Bank of Ghana Limited. Mandated Lead Arrangers in the USD Facility are: FirstRand Bank Limited acting through its Rand Merchant Bank Division and Export Development Canada.


Virgin Atlantic announces new flights from Accra to London

23 Feb

In response to growing demand, Virgin Atlantic is increasing the number of flights to London Heathrow. From 26 March 2012, Virgin Atlantic will be flying 5 times a week with travel between Accra and London Heathrow, also giving connections further on the Virgin Atlantic network to the United States.

In the last six months, sales have grown by more than 50% in Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class and Premium Economy cabins aimed at business travellers and those looking for some luxury.  A service will now run every day apart from Thursdays and Sundays, with Thursday being the busiest day for travel between the two locations.

Nick Taylor, Virgin Atlantic’s Country Manager for West Africa said, “Virgin Atlantic is making a clear commitment to Ghana and we’re pleased to be supporting business links to and from the UK. We understand time is so valuable, especially to our business travellers, and we’ve responded to feedback increasing the number of weekly services.”

This news comes hot on the heels of Virgin Atlantic’s announcement to invest £100m in its business class products during the next three years.   New flights to Vancouver, Cancun, San Francisco and the Caribbean have also been announced in the past six months.

Kwame Achampong-Kyei, the executive Chairman of GLICO Group; and one of Virgin Atlantic’s top Flying Club members said, “This is welcome news to us who have come to value the service style and attention to detail that Virgin Atlantic brings. This is what really defines great business delivery and we look forward to more flights also being announced”


12 Feb

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The Role of the Banking Sector in Developing the Ghanaian Capital Market

12 Feb

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12 Feb

Tullow Oil, Sunderland FC launch ‘Invest In Africa’ initiative

27 Jan

A new business initiative called “Invest in Africa” has been launched in Accra by Tullow Oil Ghana in collaboration with UK-based Sunderland FC.

The initiative is to attract and facilitate further investments in Africa.

It is intended to promote Africa’s investment opportunities to the international business community through football, and encourage long-term investment across the continent to help build and develop local capacity, boost domestic job markets, develop skills and stimulate economic growth.

Aidan Heavy, Chief Executive of Tullow however noted that the company is the initial founding partner in ‘Invest in Africa’ with investments in 17 African countries, adding that plans on securing further five founding partners for the international business community is focused on Africa.

He noted with grave concern that people he had earlier on spoken with concerning Africa in the international business community, see Africa as charity and aid dependent and not as an investment destination.

“Africa presents one of the best investment opportunities in the world today and this initiative is to promote Africa,” he stressed.

He noted that research indicates that more than four billion people watch the English Premiership every week and that meant if Africa’s business opportunities could be brought to the attention of that huge number, substantial international investment would come to Africa.

Mr. Heavy hinted that Tullow initially approached some of the popularly known English football clubs which have better presence in Africa than Sunderland, but were all interested in the profits they would make rather than how they can impact Africa with their investment.
He was enthused Sunderland FC was the only club that welcomed the idea and could envisage the vision and had the passion for Africa adding, so we believe we have a great partner in Sunderland FC to achieve this goal,” he said.

Naill Quinn, Director of International Development for Sunderland FC, said Sunderland was excited about the ground-breaking opportunity to bring Sunderland into new territories, and believes the global appeal for the Premier League can be harnessed to benefit Africa.

He further stressed that Sunderland was not in the Invest in Africa deal for profit, but to use its appeal to promote investment and development in Africa.

Sunderland would use its television presence, football pitch and other outdoor opportunities to promote the Invest in Africa message, and also plans to touch base with local people in Africa and help young people develop their talents in both soccer and other career choices in the future.

Tullow Ghana Executive Chairman Ike Duker, also said the initiative would rope in regulatory agencies and government institutions like the ministries, MMDAs and others with the view to creating the enabling environment for investment.


14 Oct

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