Databank, Black Star Brokerage not appointed advisors to government – MoF

Databank and Black Star Brokerage have not been appointed as advisors to the Ministry of Finance, a statement from the ministry has stated.

Ken Ofori-Atta

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) in a state released on June 1, 2021, opined that contrary to allegations making the rounds on social media that Databank and Black Star Brokerage – linked to Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta and the Minister of State at the Finance Ministry, Charles Adu Boahen, were handpicked as Bond Market Specialists for government bond issuance, the two institutions are not.

In a statement, the Ministry said it was incorrect the claim that these two firms have been appointed as advisors to the Ministry of Finance.

The selection of the Primary Dealers [PDs] and Bond Market Specialists [BMSs] is an automatic process based on market performance and historical secondary market trading activity which is publicly available and cannot be manipulated by the Ministry of Finance [MoF] or the Bank of Ghana [BoG]”.

Since 1996, the Ministry of Finance with the Bank of Ghana has developed and implemented various policies which affect the issuance and trading of Government of Ghana debt securities (Treasuries and Bonds). The ultimate objectives of these policies are to develop an efficient fixed income market, strengthen the capacity of local institutions and deepen financial intermediation”, it added.

The Mof further pointed out that Databank and Black Star Brokerage are two out of nine firms that have been selected by BoG/MoF as Bond Market Specialists and not Advisors to MoF, adding “the other firms selected to be BMSs are – Ecobank, Stanbic Bank, ABSA, Cal Bank, GCB Bank, Fidelity Bank, and IC Securities. As stated above, the selection of the firms was solely based on their historical performance on the Bond Market and no other consideration”.

Below is the full statement of the Finance Ministry;

In a related development, iconic broadcaster and MC, Kwasi Kyei Darkwah (KKD) has described as foolishness and nonsensical, the use of Databank, a company co-founded by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, as transactional advisors for the international loans Ghana takes.

I read a report yesterday that broke my heart. I saw how much Ghana owes but I also found that apparently, the minister of finance’s company or former company, is the transaction advisor to the monies we borrow. So, as Ghana gets poorer, the minister of finance’s company or former company, gets richer”, he pointed out on state broadcaster GTV’s breakfast show hosted by Kafui Dey on Wednesday, 17 August 2022.

“Is this what we want to continue in this country? Do we want to elect people into office, give them their pay and perks and then allow them and their friends and their companies or their former companies to be the very beneficiaries of the woes of our country?” he questioned.

He wondered why the Parliament and Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) had also not intervened.

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