Bank of Trinidad has not taken over HFC bank – MD

hfc-bankManagement of HFC Bank on Thursday dismissed as false, claims being made in a section of the media that the Republic Bank of Trinidad (RBT) had taken over ownership of the Ghanaian bank.

Though RBT, the largest financial institution in the Caribbean Region, had acquired an eight per cent share of HFC Bank, Mr Asare Akuffo, Managing Director of the Bank, said his outfit remained purely a Ghanaian bank with majority ownership.

Speaking at the “Facts Behind the Figures” series organised by the Ghana Stock Exchange in Accra, he said the Bank’s partnership with RBT had become necessary to enable his outfit service large corporate business and receipts as well as to strengthen its position in the West African Sub-Region.

Mr Akuffo reiterated that the Board of HFC Bank had approved the establishment of a holding company to acquire the bank’s subsidiaries and to eliminate the risks that they (subsidiaries) posed to its capital.

He said when approved by shareholders later during the year, the move would position the subsidiaries to deliver more value to shareholders.

Mr Akuffo said the holding company would also free the subsidiaries from the limitations of the strict banking regulations, especially in relation to capital.

He underscored the important contributions made by small and medium scale entrepreneurs in the Ghanaian economy and pledged that the bank would position itself to be a leading retail and Small and Medium-scale Enterprise (SME)-focused financial institution.

Mr Akuffo said experienced staff was being recruited to efficiently service the financial needs of the large SME market.

He said the Bank would also look at participating in financing of the oil and gas industry, infrastructural and residential projects as well as the cocoa sector.

Mr Akuffo said the subsidiaries would continue to grow their businesses in 2013, adding that the new three tier pension scheme and the demand for affordable housing provided opportunities for the growth of HFC Investment Services and HFC Realty.

He said management would seek economic opportunities to grow some of the subsidiaries through mergers and acquisition.

HFC Bank’s net profit grew by 42.1 percent to GHȼ15.42 million while Net Interest Income was up to GHȼ45.46 million up from GHȼ39.74 million.

The bank’s total assets amounted to GHȼ594.9 million while customer deposit increased by 35.6 percent to GHȼ312.38 million up from last year’s figure of GHȼ230.30 million.

Source: GNA

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