Ghana to Complete Merger of Two State Lenders by Year-End

(Bloomberg) -- Ghana will complete the merger of Agricultural Development Bank Ltd. and National Investment Bank Ltd. before the end of the year as the central bank’s Dec. 31 deadline for lenders to meet a new minimum-capital requirement approaches.

The government will inject 400 million cedis ($82 million) to bolster the merged entity, Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta said Monday in an interview in the capital, Accra. Bringing the two lenders together will save government money because it would have had to pay 700 million cedis to recapitalize them separately, he said.

The merger is due to the need to create a stronger state bank that can support the government’s drive to expand industrial activity, Ofori-Atta said in August. President Nana Akufo-Addo’s administration seeks to boost economic growth by making it easier for companies to do business and by building more factories.

The Bank of Ghana more than tripled the minimum-capital requirement to 400 million cedis in August last year. Agricultural Development Bank reverted to state control in July when the central bank annulled deals for more than half of its shares following an initial public offering in 2016. National Investment Bank is owned 97 percent by the government.

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