Panic withdrawals could collapse economy - Papa Kwesi Nduom

BY: Kobby Asmah
Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom - President, Groupe Nduom
Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom - President, Groupe Nduom

In the wake of the crisis in the financial services industry and banking sector, a leading Ghanaian entrepreneur, Dr Papa Kwesi  Nduom, has said the rate at which clients are redeeming their investments and making withdrawals, few investment companies and banks could survive what is happening within the sector.

Expressing serious concerns about the rate of panic redemption of investments and withdrawals by clients from the various indigenous banking and financial institutions, Dr Nduom, who is presently in the United States, asked the Bank of Ghana and all the appropriate State regulators in the financial sector to focus more attention on supporting the indigenous financial and banking sectors to overcome the current challenging trends.

In a telephone interview with the Daily Graphic on Sunday, Dr Nduom pointed out that "When your neighbour's house is on fire, you put water by yours."

Reflection

Using his institution. Gold Coast Securities, a fully Ghanaian-owned company which started business in August 1993, as the 4th dealing member of the Ghana's Stock Exchange, as a reflection of what was going on in financial institutions, he said "this year alone the company has paid out over Gh¢1.3 billion of investment funds to its customers, saying "no investment company can survive if even 25 per cent of its customers run to it to redeem their funds invested in productive activities prematurely and at the same time".


He said to preserve and protect all clients’ funds and investments that had been made, Gold Coast Security was controlling the pace of redemptions.

He said the bulk of the funds with Gold Coast were invested in the pre-financing of government's infrastructural projects to the tune of over Gh¢1.5 billion.

He noted with concern that “for the past three years, some of the contractors whose projects have been completed have not received any payments, but fortunately, payments from the government agencies have started to come in though in smaller amounts than expected".

"We believe that government will make good on these receivables. Therefore from now on, we will limit payments to the amounts received from government agencies to be made for matured investments," he added.

He pointed out that as a senior member of the fund management industry, Gold Coast fully embraced the new industry reforms and directives by the regulator and was working to ensure full compliance to eschew market indiscipline and create value for its customers.

He gave an assurance that Gold Coast would continue to work with the discipline to ensure clients' investments were safe and protected and, therefore, encouraged all clients to be comforted and not panic.

Gold Coast

Gold Coast Securities, a fully Ghanaian owned company, started business in August 1993 as the 4th dealing member of the Ghana Stock Exchange.

In 1993, the four were Gold Coast, Databank, SAS and NTHC. Today, the stock exchange has 22 dealing members who are brokers and 148 fund managers. The company which started as Gold Coast Securities is now Gold Coast Holding Company, a full-blown investment banking firm with Pension, Brokerage, Fund Management, Asset Management, Corporate Finance & other specialised divisions.

It operates the Gold Fund Unit Trust, Gold Money Market Fund, provident funds and provides project financing.

Gold Coast is the only fund manager in Ghana with the most diversified retail outlets in all the 10 regions with 19 branches. This offers convenience to clients, provides a safe opportunity for investment, promotes financial literacy and financial inclusion in Ghana.

Gold Coast is the biggest fund manager in Ghana with over 800,000 individual clients. This accounts for about 30 per cent of the entire clientele base of the investment banking industry. Its clients include soldiers, policemen and women, public servants, teachers, lawyers, rural banks and other finance houses, traders, medical and other professionals.

"Many of our clients started business with us as early as 1993, when the firm was incorporated, and are still with us. Many people on pension rely on regular payments from Gold Coast for their living," Dr Nduom related.

Sign of trust and loyalty

Gold Coast has been recognised and rewarded for its excellent services in the industry. The awards include, Best Investment
Advisor for 2011, Best Fund Manager for 2013 and 2014, second Best Brokerage Firm for 2017 and Best Research Company for 2017.

For 25-years, Dr Nduom said, Gold Coast had created and preserved wealth for its clients with sound investment advice and that it had never lost a pesewa for any of its clients.

"Gold Coast has made invaluable contributions to the Ghanaian economy by helping to pre-finance over 600 infrastructure projects across the country, including roads schools, hospitals, bridges, market complexes etc. This has created thousands of jobs and developed a large core of Ghanaian contractors," he recounted.

In the wake of the crisis in the financial services industry and banking, he said, Gold Coast had faced panic redemption of investments by clients.

This year alone, the company had paid out over Gh¢1.3 billion of investment funds to its customers, he said, stressing that "no investment company can survive if even 25 per cent of its customers run to it to redeem their funds invested in productive activities prematurely and at the same time".

More follows.