Business News of Saturday, 25 June 2016
Source: Helen Selorm|Ghanaweb.com
The future of investment banking is defined not just by how profitable businesses are but by how sustainable they will be, Chief Director of the Ministry of Finance has said.
Major Mahama Samuel Tara said as time goes on stakeholders in the banking sector will become more aware of things happening around them and more demanding of ethical behaviours, accountability and of value thus the need for industry players in the banking and investment sector to uphold ethical principles in their daily dealings with stakeholders.
Speaking at the launch of the 40th anniversary celebration of the National Trust Holding Company (NTHC) and commissioning of the head office building in Accra Friday June 24, 2016, Mr. Tara said the theme for the anniversary: “Pioneering Sustainable Investment Banking: Now and into the Future” was appropriate because “the sustainable business today is the profitable business tomorrow”.
“As mobilizers and managers of long term capital, we have very little choice but to develop our markets along sustainable lines. In its broadest sense this implies that we must be ethical and professional, socially responsible and fair in the way in which we mobilize and deploy capital,” he said.
Mr. Tara said sustainable banking means acting in line with laws and regulations governing the industry, making good investment decisions, financing those activities which have positive social, environmental and economic impacts, among others.
He lauded the NTHC for not making government’s efforts fruitless but has played significant role in the development of the country’s capital market through offering of accessible, durable and valuable advisory and management services to customers and shareholders.
“Forty years ago, the Government of Ghana took the visionary step of supporting the establishment of NTHC. The thinking behind this initiative – among many other initiatives – was to help the development of a capital market in Ghana. From humble beginnings it is fair to say today that the capital market in Ghana has come a long way in playing the very important role of advising and managing, in a structured manner, a wide range of capital market activities including equity and debt issues, securities trading, investment management, pensions administration, custodial services, and much more,” he said.
Mr. Tara however advised the management and staff of the NTHC and other banking and investment institutions to avoid or minimise the threats to maintaining a sustainable finance sector especially the capital market by acting with good judgement, being accountable to stakeholders and by being truthful.
In his address, the Board Chairman of NTHC and the General Manager of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Mr. Peter Hayibor said as the capital market has changed considerably over the years and in the midst of competitions and challenges the NTHC has remained relevant as it has expanded its product range, increased its channels and significantly automated its platform to satisfy the customer.
As an objective of the institution, Mr. Hayibor said the NTHC will continue to position itself well to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities by been more accessible to customers, tailoring innovative products and be more prudent in its decisions.
“We have recently expanded our executive team to drive innovation, strengthen our operations and enhance our performance. We are also adding to our channels with new branches slated for opening in Kasoa, Nkawkaw and Techiman this year. In addition we are working to sharpen our electronic service delivery platform throughout our channels and at our centralized operations hub here in Accra,” he revealed.
The NTHC as part of its vision of “Pioneering Sustainable Investment Banking Now and into the Future” according to Mr. Hayibor will undertake a programme of activities to encourage financial literacy, planning and an investment culture among the youth in secondary and tertiary institutions across the country through investment clubs in targeted schools by end of 2016.
Also in order to contribute significantly towards financial inclusion and poverty alleviation within the country the NTHC will drive investments in pensions in the informal sector with products tailored to provide workers with investment capital early in life and pension income in old age.
About the NTHC
NTHC was established in 1976 under the auspices of the National Investment Bank to purchase hold and to manage sell securities and other property, to provide brokerage services to investors, to underwrite the issue of shares, bonds and other securities, to lend to prospective investors for the purchase of securities and other property. In the same year the company was authorized to operate as a mutual fund and to act as trustee to the Government of Ghana in respect of its interests in privately held companies.
The NTHC was one of the leading investment banks to advise and manage the privatization of state owned enterprises, spearhead the establishment of the Ghana Stock Exchange, sponsor some of the initial listings on the exchange, and establish the first generation of stock broking, registrar, asset management and real estate businesses in Ghana.
Today NTHC is a full grown investment banking group offering a wide range of services including corporate finance and advisory, stock broking, pensions trusteeship and administration, asset management and registrar services. The group also has real estate development and commodities trading businesses.